​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Preparing for arbitration

There are six steps you need to take to prepare for arbitration at the Fair Work Commission (the Commission):​

Icon: Page with numbered list Preparing for the hearing - Step by step guide

Step 1: Read the ​Notice of Listing and directions

Read the notice of listing. Make any arrangements you need to such as:

  • arranging time off work
  • arranging childcare.

If you cannot go to a hearing on the day(s) it is listed, you will need to ask the Commission to postpone (adjourn) your case. See Step 2 for information on how to do this.

Read the directions. Directions are orders made by the Commission about things that you must do to prepare for your case. For example, you will usually be directed to prepare an outline of submissions, statement of facts (your description of what happened, usually listed in chronological order), and witness statements and give them to the employer and the Commission before the hearing.

For more information, see Directions, How to write a witness statement and How to write an outline of submissions.

Step 2: Ask for an ​​adjournment if you need one

If you have a good reason why you cannot go on the day it is listed, you will need to apply to adjourn (postpone) arbitration.

Icon: HintIt is a good idea to get agreement (consent) from the employer or their legal representative (if they have one) if you want an adjournment.

Put your application in writing. You should explain why you are unavailable. The Commission says you will need 'substantial grounds' to get an adjournment. This means that your reason should be serious. You should attach any evidence that supports your application. For example, a letter from your doctor or a hospital, or evidence of another event you couldn't change on that day, like jury service.

If your matter is adjourned, the Commission will send you another notice of listing telling you the new date. Contact the Commission if you have asked for an adjournment but have not got a response.

Step 3: Gather your​ witness statements and evidence

You will need to gather the evidence that supports your case. Your evidence needs to answer the questions the Commission will ask about your case, including:

  1. Are you able to make a general protections dismissal application?
  2. Were you dismissed in breach of a general protection?
  3. If you were dismissed in breach of a general protection, what orders should be made?

Evidence from other people and yourself, should be written down in a witness statement.

For more information and help gathering evidence for your case, see Evidence.

Step 4: Prepare, file​​ and serve your outline of submissions and witness statements

You need to prepare:

  • An outline of submissions
    This is a summary of the arguments in your case and includes any laws or cases you rely on.
  • Witness statements for all your witnesses
    This is a written record of what a witness says about your case.

For more information on this, see How to write an outline of submissions and How to write a witness statement.

When you have finished writing these documents, you must file and serve them by the dates set in the Notice of Listing.

'File' means that you must give a copy to the Commission. You can file documents by:

  • attaching them to an email
  • sending a fax
  • sending it through the post.

The contact details for the Commission are on the Fair Work Commission website.

'Serving' documents means giving a copy to the other side. The contact details for the employer will be on the document called 'Form F8A Employer Response to Application for the Commission to Deal with a General Protections dispute. This should have been sent to you by the employer before the conciliation. If you do not have a copy you should contact the Commission. You can serve documents by:

  • attaching them to an email (if the employer gave an email address in Form F8A)
  • sending a fax (if the employer gave a fax number in Form F8A)
  • sending it through the post (to the address and person listed in Form F8A).

If the employer has a representative like a solicitor, you must serve the documents on the solicitor.

Alert IconYou must file and serve your outline of submissions and witness statement by the deadline given to you in the directions. If you have not kept to the directions, you may not be allowed to use your witness statements at the hearing or the Commission may send you a notice telling you to attend a non-compliance hearing. For more information, see Directions.

Step 5: Plan what to t​​ake to arbitration

You will need to take these things with you:

  • all your evidence. Take at least three copies of each of your documents as well as copies of the witness statements and outline of submissions that you have filed and served
  • your notes for speaking to the Commission member (see Step 4)
  • a notebook and pen to make notes
  • highlighters and post it notes to mark important information
  • your witnesses
  • a list of the questions you would like to ask each witness.

Step 6: Plan what to say at arbitration

Write down the main points you want to say. This may include:

  • background information about your employment (for example, part time, casual, full time, how long you were employed and your duties)
  • when you were dismissed and how
  • what general protection you believe your employer has breached by dismissing you
  • what orders you want the Commission to make.

Now you have prepared for the hearing, the next step is to present your case on the day of the hearing. For more information, see Presenting your case at arbitration.