When you are sent a Notice of Listing for a hearing, you will also be given directions to prepare your case for the arbitration hearing. Directions are written instructions from the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) about preparing, filing and serving (formally giving the other side) documents.
The Commission will make directions that:
If there is a good reason why you cannot follow the directions, you should contact the Commission straight away.
For information about writing an outline of submissions, see
How to write an outline of submissions.
For information about writing a witness statement, see
How to write a witness statement.
If you have not followed the directions, the Commission may send you a notice telling you to attend a non-compliance hearing. This hearing could be done by video link or telephone.
At the non-compliance hearing you may be asked:
You may be given another chance to follow the directions. If you still do not follow the directions, your case may be 'struck out'. This means that the Commission will end your case. If this has happens to you and you want to continue you case, you should get
legal advice straight away.
If you decide that you want to use additional witness statements or evidence at arbitration that you did not file and serve by the date set in the directions, your employer may object to you using this evidence. The Commission member hearing your case will then need to make a decision about whether you can use that evidence.
If the Commission member will not let you use your evidence, it is possible to ask for an adjournment to give the other side time to consider your evidence so that it can be used in your case. If the Commission member does not give you an adjournment you will have to continue your case without that evidence or settle your case with the other side.
If you want to use additional evidence at the hearing after you’ve filed and served your witness statements, you should notify your employer and the Commission as soon as possible.
If your employer does not follow the directions, the Commission may send them a notice telling them to attend a non-compliance hearing. This hearing may be done by video link or telephone.
At the non-compliance hearing your employer may be asked:
If your employer does not follow the directions and later tries to use witness statements or other evidence at arbitration that it has not filed or served on you, it is possible to object to those documents being considered by the Commission. If you object, the Commission member hearing your case may decide that the witness statements or other evidence cannot be used. The Commission member can also decide to adjourn (postpone) your case to give you time to consider the documents.
For answers to commonly asked questions, see
Going to the Fair Work Commission - Frequently Asked Questions.