Resolutions up and applications down: Unfair Dismissals Quarterly Report released

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has released its Unfair Dismissals Quarterly Report for the period October 2016 to December 2016 (the Report).  The Report revealed that there has been a decrease in the number of applications lodged with the FWC compared to the same period in previous years. 

Resolutions have also occurred more quickly, with 80% of applications being resolved prior to any formal proceedings before a FWC member.  The Report provided that 16% of applications were resolved prior to the conciliation. This is likely due to the best practice approach adopted by many employers seeking legal advice prior to terminations or other potentially contentious actions including:

  • Providing advice and guidance to the employer to ensure the principles of procedural fairness have been applied.

  • Assisting the employer with the drafting of the allegation / ‘show cause’ and termination letters.

  • Preparing detailed Employer Responses to unfair dismissal Applications and General Protections matters.

  • Conducting the settlement negotiations.

Clearly written letters by the Employer together with carefully drafted succinct Applications and Responses give the parties the best chance to fully understand their respective positions and their strengths and weaknesses. This allows the parties to properly assess the merits of their respective positions at the earliest opportunity. In turn, this puts the parties in the best possible position to explore commercial sensible resolutions prior to/at Conciliation stage. 

Shane Koelmeyer is a leading workplace relations lawyer and Director at Workplace Law. Workplace Law is a specialist law firm providing employers with legal advice, training and representation in all aspects of workplace relations, employment-related matters and WH&S.

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