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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself - LawAssist

Going to the Fair Work Commissi​​on - Frequently Asked Questions​​​​


1. How do​​ I make a g​​​​​ene​​ral protecti​​ons application?

To make an application you will need to: ​

  • get a form from the Fair Work Commission (the Commission)
  • fill in the form and sign it
  • pay the filing fee of $68.60 (as at 1 July 2015) or apply to waive (cancel) the fee if you cannot afford it
  • wait to receive your notice of listing. ​

Alert Icon If you want to make a general protections dismissal application to the Commission, you must do so within 21 days of the date you were dismissed.

The Commission may accept late applications, but usually only in exceptional cases.

For more information, see Making an application.


2. I made a general ​​prote​​ctions application. My case​ is listed for conciliation. Do I need to get a lawyer to represent me?

No. You can represent yourself at the Commission.

If you want to get a lawyer to represent you, you will need to get permission from the Commission. You should speak to your lawyer and they should arrange this as soon as possible.

If you are going to represent yourself, it may be possible to bring a support person, for example, a family member or friend. You should call the contact number on your Notice of Listing and speak to someone at the Commission. You can ask if you are allowed to have a support person attend with you.

For more information on what you need to do at the Commission, see Conciliation.

3. What do I need ​to take with ​​m​​e to conciliation at the Fair Work Commission?

Your conciliation may be face to face or over the telephone.


In order to be prepared for the conciliation, make sure you have:

  • a pen and notebook
  • a copy of your application
  • a copy of your employer's response
  • your notes and/or completed Preparing for conciliation - Worksheet
  • any supporting documents, for example, payslips, emails, letters, text messages
  • a chronology or summary of what you say happened (if you have prepared one)
  • a list of what you want from your employer to resolve your case. 

For more information, see Preparing for conciliation - Step by step guide.

​​

4. What happens at the F​air Work​​ Commission conciliation?

At the conciliation, a Fair Work Commission member (the Commission member) will meet with you and your employer face to face and help you to talk and try and come to an agreement.

You will be given a chance to tell your side of the story. Your employer will then be able to tell their side.

The Commission member will then usually talk to each of you separately and ask you some questions. You will then be called back together again.

A conciliation is not a hearing and evidence will not be taken, but you should be prepared to tell the Commission member what you want and why.

For more information, see Going to conciliation - Step by step guide.

5. My general pro​tections application is being conciliated a​t the Fair Work Commission next​ week. What happens if my employer and I can't come to an agreement?

If you and your employer can't come to an agreement, the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) will give you a certificate.

The certificate is proof that you went to the conciliation (or mediation) and confirms that you were not able to settle the case. 

Once you have your certificate, it is possible to make an application to the:

  • Commission for arbitration if you and your employer agree
  • Federal Court or Federal Circuit Court to start a court case.  

The Commission or the court can make orders:

  • stopping your employer from doing things that breach laws about general protections
  • for reinstatement (getting your job back or giving you a similar job) 
  • for compensation.

The Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court can also order that your employer pay a fine (penalty). 

For more information, see After conciliation.​​​​​