Changing consumer needs drive FWC innovations

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Changing consumer needs drive FWC innovations

An expansion of the pro bono lawyer program, electronic case management, a paperless 2015 Annual Wage Review and more benchbooks are just some of the innovations to be delivered over the next two years by the Fair Work Commission.

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An expansion of the pro bono lawyer program, electronic case management, a paperless 2015 Annual Wage Review and more benchbooks are just some of the innovations to be delivered over the next two years by the Fair Work Commission, its president, Justice Iain Ross, said today.
 
Justice Ross was launching the second stage of the Commission’s change program, Future Directions, aimed at meeting changing community needs. One of the biggest changes for the Commission to date has been the move from “a tribunal dealing predominantly with collective disputes between represented parties, to an increasing number of self-represented citizens pursuing individual rights-based disputes”.
 
Some of the 30 new initiatives announced today include:
    • Electronic case management to improve processing times, and reduce costs for parties;
    • A review aimed at speeding up enterprise agreement approval applications;
    • A project to identify clauses in enterprise agreements that enhance productivity or innovation;
    • Extending the current pro bono lawyer program to provide wider geographical and jurisdictional coverage;
    • A strategy for the promotion of cooperative and productive workplace relations that facilitate change and foster innovation;
    • More online benchbooks by the end of this year;
    • Access to audio files of most Commission hearings by the end of 2015;
    • A pilot for an information kiosk in the Sydney registry, enabling forms to be completed and lodged electronically, prior to rolling out to other registries;
    • “Virtual tours” of the Commission’s functions, including anti-bullying and general protections;
    • Processes to identify issues in self-represented applicants’ applications which would benefit from legal advice;
    • Focus on live streaming of significant matters and improved access from remote areas;
    • First paperless Annual Wage Review in 2015;
    • A pilot benchmarking program to provide clients with a guide to how long their application may take to be dealt with through to finalisation (mid 2015);
    • Single “bulk” lodgment for multiple related applications; and
    • Further timeliness benchmarks for unfair dismissal matters (late 2014).
The full list (PDF) of Future Directions initiatives can be found on the Commission’s website.
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