Fair Work Commission

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) is the national workplace relations tribunal. FWC, in its current form, came into operation on 1 July 2013, as it was previously known as Fair Work Australia (FWA). FWA in turn had replaced the previous Australian Industrial Relations Commission, with effect from 1 July 2009.

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) is the national workplace relations tribunal. FWC, in its current form, came into operation on 1 July 2013, as it was previously known as Fair Work Australia (FWA). FWA in turn had replaced the previous Australian Industrial Relations Commission, with effect from 1 July 2009.
 
The FWC carries out a range of functions relating to:
  • the safety net of minimum wages and employment conditions
  • enterprise bargaining
  • industrial action
  • dispute resolution
  • termination of employment
  • other workplace matters.
The FWC is an independent body.
 
Without bias
 
A full bench of the Commission has described the requirement of Commission members to disqualify themselves on account of apprehended bias in Viavattene v Health Care Australia [2013] FWCFB 2532:

'The impartiality of the Commission is central to a fair hearing.
 
Bias, whether actual or apprehended, connotes the absence of impartiality. Applied to Commission members the governing principle is that a member is disqualified if a fair minded observer might reasonably apprehend that the member might not bring an impartial mind to the resolution of the question that the member is required to decide. The principle gives effect to the requirement that justice should both be done and be seen to be done.'
 
Wage setting
 
The previous wage-setting function of the Australian Fair Pay Commission is undertaken by the FWC.
 

Fair Work Ombudsman
 
The Fair Work Ombudsman replaces the Workplace Ombudsman and operates within the FWC. It has powers to investigate workplace complaints, including discrimination against employees, and to enforce compliance with the Fair Work legislation.
 

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