Fair Work Commission
The Fair Work Commission is the national workplace relations tribunal – like a court for workers. It’s the place to go if you plan on lodging a dispute, such as an unfair dismissal. It’s also the body that sets the minimum standards for employment – after employers, industry bodies and unions battle it out behind the scenes. You can find the relevant forms on their website, as well as recent copies of Workplace Agreements.
📞 1300 799 675
Fair Work Ombudsman
The Fair Work Ombudsman provides employees, employers and the general community with information on workplace rights and responsibilities. They can give you guidance on where to find information, as well as specific information on pay, entitlements (such as personal and annual leave) based on your sector. As a government department they’re available for general guidance but they generally maintain a fairly neutral stance on workplace issues.
Their website can be tailored, allowing you to select the industry you work in. They’ve also recognised the complexity of workplace law by creating video content to help explain your entitlements.
📞 13 13 94
Australian Human Rights Commission
Sometimes workplace behaviour moves away from everyday interpersonal conflict and more towards workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination. The Australian Human Rights Commission receives complaints where a person feels discriminated against based on their sex; disability; race; age; sexual preference; criminal record; trade union activity; political opinion; and religion or social origin. It’s best to check out the Complaint’s section of their website because these overarching attributes often contain more specific attributes such as pregnancy and marital status.
📞1300 656 419
State-based Peak Bodies
State-based bodies also have avenues available for those wishing to lodge a complaint.
New South Wales
Working Women’s Centres
Working Women’s Centres were established as a community organisation to support vulnerable women who are dealing with workplace issues, as well as those want to enter the workforce but are unable to do so. You might not think you classify as vulnerable but you also might be surprised. Here’s where it’s vital to think big picture and compare your working conditions to those around you. Certain industries are highly feminised (as in there are many more female workers than male workers) and many of these tend to receive lower pay and more uncertain working conditions (such as casual or contract work). Not to mention those who have family responsibilities (which can include caring for an immediate family member who is unwell). These are just a couple examples, many more are listed on the Working Women’s Centre’s website.
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales