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Workplace Bulletin
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A few highlights from the FWC’s annual 

report

Monday, 17th November 2014, by Loran McDougall

In today's Workplace Bulletin:
  • An insight into the FWC’s work in 2013–14
Dear Reader,

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently released its 2013–14 annual report.
The FWC, an independent body established under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) to regulate the key matters covered by the FW Act, acknowledges that this has been a busy reporting period. The report itself spans more than 200 pages.
But Charles Power has hand-picked for you some of the most interesting and relevant statistics published in the FWC’s annual report – he shares them with you below.
Until next time,
Jessica Oldfield
Loran McDougall
Editor
Workplace Bulletin
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An insight into the FWC’s work in 2013–14

by Charles Power
Editor-in-Chief, Employment Law Practical Handbook

The FWC’s 2013–14 annual report contains some interesting statistics which are particularly relevant to employers.

General protections claims
General protections claims involving dismissal are up by 18.5% from last year – in 2013–14, there were 2,879 claims.

General protections are provisions that protect employees from having adverse action taken against them for an unlawful reason. For example, an employee could make a general protections claim against you if you took adverse action against them because they:
  • requested a flexible working arrangement;
  • made a complaint or inquiry in relation to their employment;
  • participated in industrial action; or
  • were temporarily absent from work due to an illness or injury.
Unfair dismissal claims
Unfair dismissal occurs when an employee is dismissed harshly, unjustly or unreasonably.
The number of unfair dismissal claims did not change significantly from last year at (there were 14,796 in 2013–14). The settlement rate at conciliation remains high, at 79%. Applicants were successful in obtaining a remedy for unfair dismissal in only 184 cases. Only 18% of these cases involved reinstatement.

Of the 150 cases involving awards of compensation, the amounts awarded were:
  • less than $4,000 in 25% of cases;
  • between $4,000 and $10,000 in 33% of cases; and
  • more than $10,000 in 42% of cases.
The peak months for dismissal claims (both unfair dismissal and general protections) were July 2013, December 2013, March 2014 and June 2014.

Bullying applications

Since 1 January 2014, amendments to the FW Act have allowed employees who reasonably believe that they have been bullied at work to apply to the FWC for an order to stop the bullying.
The flood of bullying applications expected as a result of this change did not occur. There were only 343 bullying applications in the first 6 months of the anti-bullying scheme’s operation.
Regards,

Charles Power
Charles Power
Editor-in-Chief

Employment Law Practical Handbook




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