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Coronavirus: FWC leaps into action

Read about the arrangements are in place for the FWC until further notice.
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Coronavirus: FWC leaps into action

Coronavirus: FWC leaps into action

17 March 2020

The Fair Work Commission has introduced new arrangements to help minimise the spread of coronavirus.


Hearings and conferences


The Commission will conduct hearings and conferences by telephone or video-conference wherever possible. The primary aim is to minimise the need for parties to come to the Commission in the near future.

This applies to cases that are already scheduled, as well as future proceedings. Commission members have been asked to reduce, as far as possible, the number of proceedings that require parties to attend at the Commission’s offices.

All planned travel is being reconsidered, and avoided where possible.


Parties and representatives


You should stay at home if:
  • you are feeling unwell
  • you have been to a country considered at a higher risk of Coronavirus in the last 14 days
  • you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus.
If this applies to you, you should not attend the Commission’s premises.   

Government restrictions mean that all people, including Australian citizens, who have been overseas and arrived from 12am on 16 March, are required to self-isolate for 14 days.  

If you have a matter before the Commission or need to visit our offices you should either contact your representative, or call the Commission's HelpLine on 1300 799 675.

If you develop any symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath) you should see a doctor for urgent assessment.


Other actions


Consistent with advice to cancel non-essential gatherings of people, the Commission is cancelling the Employment Law Moot and other public-facing activities until further notice.

It is also reviewing the Workplace Advice Service to cease face-to-face appointments, and provide advice by telephone only.

Planned internal events, such as a members’ conference, have been cancelled.


Impact


The FWC will continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic on our operations, and implement its business continuity planning to ensure it can continue to deliver critical operations to the greatest extent achievable. A COVID-19 Response Group has been established to oversee the Commission’s response to COVID-19.

During this period, the pandemic is likely to have some impact on the speed with which the FWC can deal with all cases.


Urgent applications


If you have any urgent applications such as applications to vary enterprise agreements or other instruments to deal with the consequences of COVID-19 they can be sent to COVID19Applications@fwc.gov.au.

If you have any concerns about these arrangements, or suggestions as to other steps the Commission may take, they can be sent to COVID19Applications@fwc.gov.au.


Non-urgent applications


You can still lodge applications in the ordinary way.  Please note, however, that we anticipate that over time some applications may take longer to process than usual given that we must prioritise urgent applications using available resources from time to time.  We appreciate your understanding.


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