​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 |
LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself

Going to conciliation - Step by step guide ​

Step-by-step guide icon  Going to​​ conciliation - Step by step guide

Step 1: Be on​ time!

You should make sure you are on time. Don't be late.

If you can't make it or if you're running late, you should contact the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) straight away. The contact details will be on the Notice of Listing.

Step 2: What to expect during conciliation

Every conciliation is different and will be depend on the circumstances of your case. However, the usual process is:

  1. The Commission member conciliating the case explains the process and their role.
  2. The Commission member will ask you to talk about what happened and what your application is about. If you made the application, you are called "the applicant."
  3. The employer (the respondent) or their representative (if they have one) will then give the employer's version of what happened and explain their response.
  4. The Commission member may ask you and the respondent some questions and discuss the case with both of you.
  5. The Commission member will have a private session talking to each party separately (usually starting with you).
  6. The Commission member will help you and the respondent to agree on a way to end the dispute. The Commission member may go back and forth between you and the respondent or may bring everyone back together to talk.
  7. If you come to an agreement, the Commission member can help you to put this into writing (often called "Terms of Settlement"). 

Alert IconIf the Commission member tells you that you don't have a good case, or it doesn't have merit, or it doesn't have 'reasonable prospects of success', you should get urgent legal advice.

You can ask the Commission member for an adjournment so that you can have some time to get legal advice, or consider something the Commission member has said. If the Commission member agrees to adjourn the conciliation, you may have to come back on another day.

Step 3: How to talk and listen at conciliation

Here are some tips for communicating during conciliation:

  • Explain things clearly and simply
    Try to explain what happened in a clear order. A chronology (list of what happened in date order) may help with this. For more information, see Sample chronology.
  • Talk about the things that you have decided are important
    When it is your time to talk, focus on the issues you have decided are important. Don't get sidetracked by things that happened a long time ago and are not part of why you were dismissed.
  • Try to keep calm
    People will hear and understand you better if you stay calm. Sometimes this can be difficult if you or your employer are discussing your employment history and performance. If you are getting upset or feel angry, you can ask the Commission member for a break.
  • Be understanding if the other party gets upset
    Everyone finds disagreements difficult. Treat everyone else the way you would like to be treated.
  • Listen carefully
    Listen carefully to what the employer says. This is your chance to hear their side of the story. Listen carefully to the Commission member. They may give you helpful information about your case and how you could settle it. You may want to take notes (or ask your support person to take notes).
  • Ask questions
    If you don't understand something, or you are not sure if you have understood, wait until the person speaking has finished and then ask a question. If you are worried you will forget your question, write it down.
  • Wait your turn to talk
    The Commission member's job is to make sure everyone gets a chance to talk. You will have a chance to say the things you want to say after the other party or the Commission member has finished speaking. ​

Step 4: Reach an agreement or get a certificate

If you and your employer come to an agreement, that will be the end of the case. You should put any agreement in writing. For more information, see After conciliation.

If you and your employer can't come to an agreement, the Commission will send you a certificate confirming that conciliation was unsuccessful. Once you have the certificate, it is possible to make an application to the Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court. For more information, see After conciliation.

Alert Icon If the Commission member believes that you don't have a good case, or it doesn't have merit, or it doesn't have 'reasonable prospects of success', they should tell you. Sometimes they will write this on the certificate. If the Commission member tells you this or has put this on the certificate, you should get urgent legal advice before filing any further claims.

For answers to commonly asked questions, see Going to the Fair Work Commission - Frequently Asked Questions.