The Fair Work Commission (FWC) is Australia's national workplace relations tribunal. As an impartial body, the FWC hears employment related disputes, interprets industrial legislation, sets minimum working conditions such as the minimum wage and modern award entitlements, and hears matters related to Enterprise Agreements (EAs). The FWC also deals with unfair dismissal, general protections and anti-bullying claims.
Managing claims in the FWC can be one of the most stressful and costly issues for your business. If you have received a claim, consider whether you need to engage a representative from the Victorian Chamber.
We can represent and advocate for members in a number of Fair Work Commission matters including:
- unfair dismissal conciliations and merits hearings;
- out of time/jurisdictional objection hearings;
- enterprise agreement termination hearings;
- enterprise agreement variation and/or approval hearings;
- mentions and/or directions conferences;
- general protections conferences;
- dispute resolution conciliations and arbitrations;
- good faith bargaining conferences; and
- Full Bench appeals.
Victorian Chamber representation
Why use us?
Right to attend Fair Work Commission (FWC) hearings
To attend hearings at the FWC, lawyers and paid agents require permission. The FWC uses strict criteria to decide if a representative is permitted to appear on behalf of their party. As an employer association, the Victorian Chamber has the automatic right to represent members without needing to seek permission from the FWC. Also, the Victorian Chamber can provide representation in circumstances where the FWC has denied a lawyer the right to appear. Internal HR teams and some legal professionals may not have the experience to defend claims effectively at a FWC hearing due to the complexity and formalities involved. Our consultants have appeared in hundreds of conferences and hearings demonstrating their expertise, knowledge and professional aptitude.
For strategic assistance where an employer would like to represent themselves, the Victorian Chamber provides:
- Guidance, advice and support in addressing potential and real claims
- Assistance in drafting appropriate documentation, from response forms to submissions and witness statements; and
- Coaching and advocacy skills.
Our expert guidance, advice and support can assist you defend claims and negotiate on your behalf at FWC proceedings. With the Victorian Chamber's Workplace Relations consulting team on your side, you can be in a stronger position to present your case at FWC hearings.
Case study: Yarra Trams
Our consulting team has represented over 500 Fair Work Claims, including one of the largest transport organisations in Victoria – Yarra Trams.
We represented Yarra Trams at the FWC in responding to an employee’s unfair dismissal claim. The employee had been dismissed following multiple rule breaches that resulted in a costly and potentially dangerous collision. The Victorian Chamber guided the HR team to follow a fair and documented dismissal process. We collated and presented the evidence to the FWC for proper consideration. After considering the documentation and witness evidence, and visiting the scene of the collision, the Commissioner found that the dismissal was not harsh, unjust or unreasonable and the application was dismissed.
When you have a hearing at the Fair Work Commission, contact our consultants online or reach us through the Workplace Relations Advice Line on 03 8662 5222. With help from our Workplace Relations consultants, you can rest assured our expertise is on your side.