The Fair Work Commission’s ongoing focus is to ensure a safe environment for our clients and staff so we can continue to deliver services to the community.
Our counters are closed, but we’re still operating.
Please do not attend our offices unless a Commission Member specifically requests you to.
We continue to closely monitor the Australian Department of Health advice and will provide updates as new information emerges.
For information on your workplace entitlements and obligations if you are affected by COVID-19 go to the Fair Work Ombudsman's website:
For everyone’s safety, we have closed our counters. We are no longer accepting applications in-person or by post.
We ask that you:
If you’re having trouble lodging an application, please call us on 1300 799 675.
All the same time limits and requirements still apply.
Urgent applications, such as applications to vary enterprise agreements or other instruments to deal with the consequences of COVID-19, can be sent to COVID19Applications@fwc.gov.au
We are doing our best to deal with all cases as quickly as possible.
Like most businesses and organisations, we have also been affected by the current situation.
This means that things are likely to take longer than normal. You may need to wait longer on the phone to speak to us than normal and it may take longer for us to reply to emails.
Some cases, such as unfair dismissal and workplace bullying cases, start with a conciliation or mediation with a Fair Work Commission staff member.
All staff conciliations and mediations will now be held by phone conference until further notice.
This means you can take part from home. You don’t need to come to our offices. If you have a representative, they can join the conference call from their office or home too.
We will now hold all hearings and conferences by phone or videoconference where possible.
In some circumstances it will be appropriate and necessary to hold a hearing face-to-face. This will happen more often as restrictions begin to ease. If you attend a hearing in our Melbourne office, you should wear a mask at all times, except when speaking during proceedings.
Please read the Face-to-face hearings frequently asked questions (PDF) for more information.
We may decide to deal with your case ‘on the papers’. This means a Commission Member will deal with your case using the written materials you and the other parties have lodged. If this happens, we will not need verbal submissions or evidence.
If we decide to deal with your case in this way, the Commission Member will give you Directions. Directions are instructions that set out what submissions and evidence you need to lodge in order that the Commission Member can make a decision about your case.
We will contact you if we decide to deal with your case on the papers.
All submissions and evidence (such as witness statements) should be lodged electronically. Please email them to the chambers email listed on the notice of listing for your hearing or conference.
If you have any questions, please contact us using the details provided on the notice of listing for your hearing or conference.
Appeal book should be lodged electronically, by emailing them to your nearest Commission office.
Please note that attachments should be no more than 10MB per email.
We are working to ensure that as many cases as possible can proceed.
However, some cases are not suitable to be held by phone, videoconference or on the papers. These cases will be postponed until it is safe to hold proceedings in person.
Commencing on 1 May 2020, the Fair Work Commission Rules 2013 no longer requires statutory declarations to be lodged with the Commission. Instead, the Rules require lodgment of a signed, but not witnessed, declaration.
The changes do not affect applications for WHS entry permits, which are required by the Work, Health and Safety Act 2011 to be accompanied by a statutory declaration.
A number of applications to vary awards to allow for more flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic have been received. The Fair Work Commission is dealing with these applications as quickly as possible.
Cases currently under consideration, and those that have already been determined, are listed below.
|Awards||Date of application||Case number||Status|
|Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020||30 July 2020||AM2020/88||Determination issued|
|General Retail Industry Award 2010, Fast Food Industry Award 2010, Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2020 and Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010||24 July 2020||AM2020/87||Determination issued|
|Pharmacy Industry Award 2020||24 July 2020||AM2020/87||Withdrawn|
|Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010 and Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2010||24 July 2020||AM2020/86||Determination issued|
|Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020||27 June 2020||AM2020/37||Determination issued|
|Restaurant Industry Award 2020||26 June 2020||AM2020/36||Determination issued|
|Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020||26 June 2020||AM2020/35||Determination issued|
|Multiple modern awards – Schedule X||26 June 2020||M2020/34 and others||Determinations issued|
|ACTU – application for directions||26 June 2020||AM2020/32||Decision issued|
|Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020||19 June 2020||AM2020/30||Determination issued|
|Building, Joinery and Mobile Crane Awards||27 May 2020||AM2020/28||Pending|
|Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010||5 May 2020||AM2020/22||Decision issued|
|Fast Food Industry Award 2010||1 May 2020||AM2020/20||Decision issued|
|Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010||27 April 2020||AM2020/18||Pending|
|Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award 2010||23 April 2020||AM2020/17||Decision issued|
|Legal Services Award 2020||15 April 2020||AM2020/15||Discontinued|
|Health sector awards – pandemic leave||15 April 2020||AM2020/13||
|Real Estate Industry Award 2020||14 April 2020||AM2020/14||Pending|
|Variation of awards on the initiative of the Commission||1 April 2020||AM2020/12||
|Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010||26 March 2020||AM2020/10||Decision issued|
|Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010||24 March 2020||AM2020/8||Decision issued|
|Restaurant Industry Award 2010||30 March 2020||AM2020/11||Decision issued|
Some parties to enterprise agreements are considering varying their enterprise agreements to introduce additional flexibility to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Find out more: COVID-19 & enterprise agreements
Different government agencies are responsible for different parts of the JobKeeper payment scheme.
On 9 April 2020, the Fair Work Act was temporarily amended to help with the implementation of the JobKeeper payment scheme.
The new provisions will enable employers who are entitled to JobKeeper payments in relation to a particular employee to:
The Fair Work Commission's role is to deal with disputes about these changes.
Find out more about how we can deal with JobKeeper disputes.
The JobKeeper payments will be administered by the Australian Taxation Office. There is more information on the JobKeeper payment page on the Australian Taxation Office’s website.
There are also new workplace rights relating to JobKeeper directions and agreements. These workplace rights are protected under the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act.
The new workplace rights relate to:
A person must not take adverse action against another person because the other person has a workplace right or exercises or proposes to exercise a workplace right.
On 14 May 2020, the Privacy Act 1988 was amended to support the COVIDSafe app and provide strong ongoing privacy protections.
Amongst other new offences, the new legislation makes it a criminal offence for an employer to require an employee or prospective employee to download or use the app as a condition of employment, or to take adverse action against an employee or prospective employee for not downloading or using the app.
If an employer takes adverse action against an employee or a prospective employee for not downloading or using the COVIDSafe app, this could also be a breach of the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act and the employee or prospective employee may be able to make a general protections application to the Commission.
Subscribe to our Announcements service to receive email updates.
|6 August 2020||Information note – COVID-19 and weekly payroll jobs and wages|
|6 August 2020||Information note – government responses to COVID-19 pandemic (updated 6 August 2020)|
|6 August 2020||Information note – COVID-19 situation update August 2020|
|28 July 2020||FWC Update – JobKeeper dispute decision, COVID-19 Award variation decisions (28 July 2020)|
|23 July 2020||Information note – government responses to COVID-19 pandemic (updated 23 July 2020)|
|23 July 2020||Information note – COVID-19 situation update July 2020|
|14 July 2020||News update: Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service|
|13 July 2020||FWC Update – JobKeeper dispute decision, COVID-19 Award variation matters (13 July 2020)|
|13 July 2020|
|3 July 2020||FWC Update – Summary of recent decisions to vary Schedule X – Additional measures during the COVID-19 pandemic|
|30 June 2020||FWC Update – JobKeeper dispute decision, COVID-19 Award variation matters (30 June 2020)|
|26 June 2020|
|26 June 2020||Information note – COVID-19 situation update June 2020|
|16 June 2020|
|15 June 2020||FWC Update – General protections benchbook, JobKeeper dispute decision, COVID-19 Award variation matters, changes to enterprise agreement regulations|
|12 June 2020|
|5 June 2020|
|29 May 2020||FWC Update – COVIDSafe app, JobKeeper dispute decision, COVID-19 applications & decisions|
|21 May 2020|
|15 May 2020||FWC Update – COVIDSafe app, JobKeeper dispute decision, COVID-19 applications & decisions|
|13 May 2020|
8 May 2020
|4 May 2020||FWC Update – JobKeeper disputes benchbook, Rules change and COVID-19 applications|
|1 May 2020||FWC update – Changes to the Fair Work Commission Rules 2013 & forms updated|
|28 April 2020||FWC update – JobKeeper disputes benchbook published|
|17 April 2020|
|17 April 2020|
9 April 2020
9 April 2020
FWC establishes new form and materials for Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus (Measures No. 2) Act 2020 [relates to JobKeeper disputes]
9 April 2020
6 April 2020
3 April 2020
31 March 2020
30 March 2020
30 March 2020
25 March 2020
25 March 2020
23 March 2020
23 March 2020
23 March 2020
16 March 2020
You can phone us on 1300 799 675 of email your nearest Commission office if you have any other questions about how COVID-19 is affecting our operations.
You can visit www.aus.gov.au for the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia.
The Fair Work Ombudsman can provide advice on workplace entitlements and obligations if you're affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 on their dedicated website Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws. You’ll find information and advice about the Fair Work Act changes for JobKeeper payments, stand downs from work, working arrangements impacted by school closures, pay and sick leave entitlements, and other rights and responsibilities at work during the coronavirus pandemic.