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Whether or not you can make an application will depend on the circumstances of your case and what you've done so far. For general information about making a general protections dismissal application, see
What are general protections? and
Can you apply?
Before you can apply to the Federal Circuit Court you must make a general protections application to Fair Work Commission (the Commission). The Commission will arrange a conciliation. For more information on going to the Commission, see
Going to the Fair Work Commission.
If conciliation doesn't settle the dispute, the Commission will issue a certificate saying that conciliation was attempted but was not successful. Once that certificate is issued, you have 14 days to apply to the Federal Circuit Court. For more information, see
Applying to the Federal Circuit Court.
The first court date is usually referred to as a "first directions hearing." At the first directions hearing a judge will make orders about the next steps in your case. Usually the judge will order the parties to attend mediation. The judge may also make orders about filing a Statement of Claim (or 'points of claim') and a Defence, as well as the filing and serving of affidavit evidence.
For more information, see
Mediation is an informal way of solving a problem. At mediation, a neutral person (the 'mediator') helps people involved in a dispute come together to discuss the issues and reach agreement. In the Federal Circuit Court the mediator will usually be a registrar.
What happens at the mediation will depend on you, your employer and the mediator. Usually, you and your employer will be able to each tell your side of the story. After that there will be time for discussion with each other and also with the mediator in private sessions.
For more information, see
At the first directions hearing the judge may have given you a date for a further directions hearing after the mediation. If they didn't give you a date, they should have said how to list your case for a further directions hearing if the mediation was not successful.
At the further directions hearing, the judge may make orders about you filing and serving a Statement of Claim (or 'points of claim') and your employer filing and serving a Defence (or 'points of defence'), as well as orders about filing and serving evidence. The judge may also list the case for a final hearing.
A Statement of Claim is a court document that sets out your case in detail. Sometimes it is called 'points of claim'. It usually contains numbered paragraphs that state what you are claiming and on what basis you are making that claim.
An Affidavit is a written statement that is sworn or affirmed to be true. An Affidavit is often used in court cases as a way to give evidence.
For information on how to:
prepare for the hearing, see Step by step guide: Preparing for the hearing