Fair Work Australia ("FWA") will be created as the
body which will administer the ALP's workplace reforms.
Together with the Fair Work Ombudsman, FWA will replace the
Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Australian Fair Pay
Commission, Workplace Authority and Workplace Ombudsman.
FWA may only deal with disputes expressly authorised by the
Fair Work Australia Act, by mediation, conciliation or
In limited circumstances FWA will arbitrate a dispute if
authorised by the Act.
In addition to disputes, other matters FWA may deal with include
national employment standards, workplace and enterprise agreements
minimum wages, unfair and unlawful dismissal, industrial action,
right of entry and modern awards.
FWA decisions may be appealed, with permission or leave, to the
Full Bench of FWA. Questions of law may be referred to the Federal
A person must bear their own costs in matters before the FWA
except in circumstances where applications have been brought
vexatiously without reasonable cause or had no reasonable prospect
Members of the AIRC will be transferred to Fair Work
The Fair Work Ombudsman ("FWO") will investigate and
prosecute breaches under the Act. Fair Work inspectors will monitor
compliance with the Act and instruments, enquire and investigate,
commence court proceedings and represent employees in circumstances
the FWO considers will promote compliance with the Act or
The Federal Magistrates Court and Federal Court will have Fair
Work Divisions to exercise judicial functions arising from the
Many of the functions of FWA are similar to functions exercised
by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission as most of the
functions of the FWO will mirror those of the Workplace Authority
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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