Annual Report 2016-17


Fair Work Commission signage in the foyer at 11 Exhibition St, Melbourne

The Commission is Australia's national workplace relations tribunal. The Commission was established by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Fair Work Act) and is responsible for administering the provisions of the Fair Work Act.

The Commission's powers and functions include:

  • resolving unfair dismissal claims
  • dealing with anti-bullying claims
  • dealing with general protections and unlawful termination claims
  • setting the national minimum wage and minimum wages in modern awards
  • making, reviewing and varying modern awards
  • assisting the bargaining process for enterprise agreements
  • approving, varying and terminating enterprise agreements
  • making orders to stop or suspend industrial action
  • dealing with disputes brought to the Commission under the dispute resolution procedures of modern awards and enterprise agreements
  • determining applications for right of entry permits
  • promoting cooperative and productive workplace relations and preventing disputes.

The Commission and its General Manager also have responsibilities in relation to the registration, recognition and accountability of unions and employer organisations under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (Registered Organisations Act).

The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Act 2016, passed in November 2016, created the Registered Organisations Commission (ROC). Some functions that were formerly carried out by the Commission were transferred to the ROC from 1 May 2017. These functions included conducting inquiries and investigations about the finances and financial administration of federally registered unions and employer organisations. The Commission retains its functions under the Registered Organisations Act concerning the registration, amalgamation and cancellation of registered organisations and the making and alteration of their rules.

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