Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice. Find out more >
The conciliator will telephone you on the number you have given to the Fair Work Commission (the Commission). Make sure that you can be reached on that number at the time you arranged and that your telephone is charged.
You should be in a place where you can have a private conversation without being interrupted. You might need to arrange childcare, put pets outside and turn off other telephones to make sure you can talk without being distracted.
The conciliation will last for 90 minutes or more. Make sure you have set aside that time
The usual process is:
Here are some suggestions for how to communicate during conciliation:
If you and the employer can agree about how to end the dispute, the conciliator will suggest you put this agreement in writing. You can either use a Deed of Release or a Terms of Agreement.
The Commission may provide you with a Terms of Agreement document to complete and sign. Sometimes the employer may ask to use a Deed of Release instead of Terms of Settlement/Agreement. A Deed of Release is another type of legal document that sets out how you will end the dispute. For more information, see
Deeds of release.
The Terms of Agreement or Deed of Release will usually settle all claims between you and the employer. Before you sign anything, you should be sure that you are not owed any other money or entitlements by your employer. For example, annual leave payments, underpaid wages, long service leave or money for injury claims. If you are owed money or are considering making a claim about an injury, it is possible to write a settlement agreement that only settles the dismissal claim and leaves you the option of making other claims.
You should get
legal advice before signing Terms of Agreement or a Deed of Release so that you understand how it will affect you. You should also get advice about whether the Terms of Agreement or Deed of Release will affect your rights to make other claims.
If you want to see a Deed of Release with an explanation of the terms used, see
Sample deed of release.
Once an agreement has been made and both sides have done what they agreed to do, you should file a Notice of Discontinuance. This tells the Commission that you do not want to continue with your application. The Commission usually refunds your application fee if your case settles before a hearing.
You should not file a Notice of Discontinuance (a form that closes your case) with the Commission until your employer has done what they agreed to do in the settlement agreement (for example, paid you the agreed settlement amount).
If your employer does not do what it agreed to in the agreement, it is possible to take steps to enforce the agreement. For more information, see
If you do not come to an agreement, the next step is to have a hearing. For more information, see
For answers to commonly asked questions, see
Going to the Fair Work Commission - Frequently Asked Questions.