The Workplace Advice Service is a free legal assistance program facilitated by the Fair Work Commission. The Commission offers this service because we understand that legal advice can reduce complexity and confusion, improve access to justice and minimise costs.
If you are an individual or a small business owner wanting to consult a lawyer on workplace issues involving dimissal, general protections or workplace bullying, the Commission can assess whether or not you may be eligible for the Service.
The Commission's role is to connect you with lawyers who may be able to help you. These lawyers work at law firms and other legal organisations that are completely independent of the Commission.
Engaging with the Service is entirely separate from making a formal application to the Commission.
Even if you are eligible for help, it might take some time to organise. If you need help very soon, you might want to explore other options for legal advice.
If you are thinking about making a dismissal application, don't forget you have 21 days from the date of dismissal.
To be an individual eligible for assistance, you must:
To be a small business employer eligible for assistance, you must:
The Service provides assistance for enquiries or issues related to dismissal, general protections or workplace bullying only.
A dismissal may be considered unfair if the employee was dismissed and:
Find out more about dismissal.
The general protections are workplace rights to protect a person (such as an employee) from another person (such as an employer) from 'adverse action'. These actions include claims of:
Find out more about general protections.
Workplace bullying is when a person or group of people repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a worker or a group of workers at work, and the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.
Find out more about workplace bullying.
Check if you may be eligible by completing the Workplace Advice Service — online request.
If you are eligible, you will be prompted to complete a request form.
If you are eligible and have submitted a request form, the Commission will either organise an appointment for you or put you in touch with a lawyer so that you can schedule an appointment.
Your appointment may take place by phone or in person. If you are thinking about making an application for dismissal, don't forget you have 21 days from the dismissal date.
Appointments generally go for 1 hour. Make sure you're prepared for your appointment by gathering any relevant documents and information. Think clearly about what you'd like to ask the lawyer so you can get the most out of your appointment. Bring a pen and paper so that you can write notes.
During the appointment, the lawyer will listen to your workplace issue or enquiry. They might ask you some questions to better understand the situation.
The lawyer may then offer advice on:
If there is time, the lawyer may offer advice on drafting submissions and witness statements or submitting relevant documents.