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Fair Work Commission conferences – self-representation

Last updated December 2023

This chapter explains what is involved in a Fair Work Commission conference and helps you prepare to represent your business.

What is a Fair Work Commission conference?

A matter before the Fair Work Commission (FWC) may involve a conference.

Definition: FWC Conference

An FWC conference means a proceeding in relation to a matter before the FWC that is generally held in private, unless otherwise directed by the FWC.
Definition: Matter

Matter means an application or other proceeding before the FWC.

An FWC conference may be a first step before a hearing or as an alternative to a hearing.

Definition: Hearing

A hearing is a proceeding where evidence is formally taken to determine contested facts and to reach a decision. A hearing gives parties the opportunity to call or give evidence, ask questions of witnesses and make submissions. A decision about the outcome of the hearing may be made on the spot or after the hearing.

An FWC conference is less formal than a hearing and is generally conducted by a member of the FWC or by a staff conciliator.

An FWC member may direct parties to a conference to assist them to discuss and resolve issues by conciliation or mediation without the need for more formal procedures such as testing evidence under oath.