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After you have made an unfair dismissal application, the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) will arrange a conciliation meeting with you and your employer. The Commission will send you a notice, called a Notice of Listing, telling you the date and time of the conciliation.
Case study - Isadora
Isadora works as a heavy vehicle mechanic for a mining company. Isadora has clashed with her boss on a number of occasions but they have always managed to get their jobs done.
After 4 years of service, Isadora was told that the company wasn't making a profit and her position would be made redundant. Isadora does not believe this was a genuine redundancy. Isadora made an unfair dismissal application to the Commission and her matter has been listed for telephone conciliation.
Conciliation is a way of solving a problem without having a formal hearing. At conciliation, you and the employer come together with the help of a neutral person from the Commission called a 'conciliator' to try and resolve the dispute. If you come to an agreement at conciliation, that will be the end of the case.
The conciliator will not take sides or decide who is right and wrong.
Conciliations at the Commission are usually held over the telephone. If you have someone representing you (for example a lawyer or a union officer), they can also be part of the telephone call. You can also have another person there to support you (for example a family member or a friend) if you need them.
During the conciliation, the conciliator may suggest ways that you could settle the case. They may also have separate conversations with you and your employer to give each of you information about any problems or weaknesses in your case.
Conciliation is not recorded and it is confidential. This means that your discussions during conciliation should not be discussed with anyone else after the conciliation and cannot be raised in a hearing later on.
Before the conciliation, you should spend some time preparing your thoughts and your documents. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to talk about your dispute. For more information on how to do this see
Preparing for conciliation - Step by step guide.
For a handy tool to help you prepare your thoughts, see
Preparing for conciliation - Worksheet.
For information about what happens at conciliation, see
Going to conciliation - Step by step guide.