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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself - LawAssist

Enforcing orders - Unfair dismissal

If your employer does not follow an order made by the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) it is possible to apply to the Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court for orders enforcing the Commission's decision. The Federal Court/Federal Circuit Court can order that compensation be paid to you for any loss you have suffered because your employer did not do what they were supposed to. Your employer can also be fined.

Alert IconIf your employer does not follow an order made by the Commission and you want to enforce the orders, you must make your application within six years of the breach. If you're not sure how to apply, or whether you're within the time limit, you should get legal advice

    ​​​How do you apply?

    Usually, applications should be made to the Federal Circuit Court. If the matter is complicated, the Federal Circuit Court may transfer it to the Federal Court.

    To make an application to the Federal Circuit Court you need to complete an 'Application - Fair Work' Form.

    The form is available:

    You must also complete an affidavit and send it with your application form. There is no set form. You can use the standard 'Affidavit' form available on​line.

    Once you have completed the forms you must file them at a registry office and pay a filing fee of $69.60 (as at 1 July 2016).

    Alert Icon Before making an application to the Federal Circuit Court you should get legal advice.

    What orders can the court make?

    The Federal Circuit Court may:

    (a) make an order stopping the employer from breaching the order or make an order to fix the breach

    (b) award you compensation for any loss you have suffered because the employer has not followed the Commission's orders

    (c) reinstate your employment.

    What fines can the court impose?

    If your employer is an individual they can be fined 60 penalty units. Each penalty unit is worth $170.00, this means your employer can face a maximum fine of $10 200 (as at July 2014).

    If your employer is a corporation they can be fined five times as much as an individual. This means your employer can face a maximum fine of $51 000 (as at July 2014). 

    Alert IconBefore you apply to the Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court to enforce the Commission's orders, you should get legal advice.

    ​For answers to commonly asked questions, see After the case - Frequently Asked Questions.

    Member hearing an unfair dismissal claim at Fair Work Australia