Every year, an annual report is prepared with information about the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) achievements, corporate arrangement & performance. The Fair Work Commission Annual Report for 2018-19 was recently released, and we’ll summarise some of the key findings below including;
- 2018-19 FWC Performance snapshot,
- Unfair dismissals,
- General protections disputes involving dismissal,
- General protections disputes not involving dismissal,
2018-19 FWC Performance snapshot
Overall, the FWC received a total of 31,415 applications lodged in the 2018-19 period. Of these, a total of 11,702 hearing & conferences were held & 10,971 decisions & orders were published.
- the median time from lodgement to conciliation in unfair dismissal applications was 32 days,
- the median time for agreement approval without undertakings was 30 days,
- annual wage review completed by 30 May 2019.
Fair Work Commission 2018-19 applications summary
An employee is unfairly dismissed within the meaning of the Fair Work Act if the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable; was not a genuine redundancy, and was not consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code (if the employer is a small business).
Unfair dismissal applications must be lodged within 21 days after the dismissal took effect, although the Commission can grant an extension of time in exceptional circumstances. The matter is generally listed for an initial telephone “conciliation” aimed at settling the case.
- 13,928 unfair dismissal applications were lodged,
- 96% of applications (13,422) were finalised, with 50% finalised within 39 days and 90% within 94 days,
- the median number of days to a staff conciliation was 32 days from lodgment, within the portfolio budget statement target of 34 days,
- 78% of applications conciliated by staff (8,161) were resolved by the agreement of the parties,
- 5% of applications (728) were resolved by the Tribunal, through a final decision or order.
General protections disputes involving dismissal
The general protections provisions under Part 3–1 of the Fair Work Act aim to protect workplace rights and freedom of association and to protect people from discrimination within the workplace.
An employee who believes that their employment has been terminated in breach of the provisions may, within 21 days of their dismissal taking effect, apply to the Commission under s.365 of the Fair Work Act. The matter is generally listed for an initial telephone “conciliation” aimed at settling the case.
- 4,508 general protections applications involving dismissal were lodged,
- A total of 2,502 matters were resolved at or after a conciliation conference, representing 58 per cent of all cases finalised.
General protections disputes not involving dismissal
The provisions under Part 3–1 of the Fair Work Act to protect workplace rights and freedom of association and to protect people from workplace discrimination apply to ‘adverse action’ other than dismissal.
An employee who believes that they have been subjected to adverse action for a prohibited reason may make a general protections application to the Commission under s.372 of the Fair Work Act. Applications are made under s.372 where there is an ongoing employment relationship. The matter is generally listed for an initial telephone “conciliation” aimed at settling the case.
- 1,005 general protections applications not involving dismissal were lodged,
- 890 applications were finalised, of which 31% were resolved through conciliation.
The anti-bullying jurisdiction allows a worker who believes that they (or a group that they belong to) has experienced repeated unreasonable behaviours at work to apply for an order to stop those behaviours. Reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner is excluded from the definition of bullying.
In order to apply, the behaviour must take place while the worker is at work in a ‘constitutionally-covered business’, as defined in s.789FD of the Fair Work Act.
To make an order to stop bullying, the Commission must be satisfied that the behaviours have created a risk to the applicant worker’s health and safety and that there is a risk that the behaviours will continue.
- 751 applications for an order to stop bullying were lodged
- 734 applications were finalised, of which 10%(74) were resolved by the Commission issuing a decision or order.
You may access the full Fair Work Commission Annual Report either as an;
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