When an application to deal with a general protections dismissal dispute is received, a Commission Member will hold a conference and try to help the parties reach an agreed resolution to the dispute.
The end result will depend on the type of application, and the willingness of the parties to resolve the matter.
If the general protections dispute is resolved during the Commission conference, the parties should sign a settlement document which formalises their agreement. The settlement is customised to reflect the agreement of the parties. It can contain details of compensation or steps to be taken, as well as issues regarding privacy or non-disparagement terms.
When giving their decision at the conclusion of an arbitration, a Commission Member may make an order:
An order of the Commission must be complied with by both parties to the dispute. If a person breaches an order, it can be enforced through the Courts and this may result in penalties being applied.
The Commission has power to make 'an order for the payment of compensation to the person in relation to a general protections matter.
Compensation can include compensation for non-economic loss such as hurt, humiliation and distress.
There must be a causal connection between the contravention and the loss, which is always a question of fact.
In the event that a person has been found by one of the Courts to have breached the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009, the Courts have the power to: