Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

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Welcome to the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission 

 We are an independent quasi-judicial tribunal established under the Industrial Relations Act 1979 to deal with industrial matters in the State of Western Australia by conciliation or, if necessary, arbitration. Our main objectives are to prevent and settle industrial disputes.

The WAIRC will deal with an application providing it has the jurisdiction or power to do so.   Click here for more information about who can apply to the WAIRC.

Online lodgement

You can now lodge documents online, including referring new claims to the Commission.  Click on this link, or click on the Applications and Forms tab above. 

Our new online lodgement system provides access to the Commission’s modernised Forms, in an interactive environment.

If you have any feedback or ideas about our new online lodgement system, please let us know by completing our Contact Form.

 

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Latest News

Full Bench found truck driver's conduct to be serious misconduct Friday, 27 March 2020 The Full Bench has unanimously dismissed an appeal against a decision of the Road Freight Transport Industry Tribunal (Tribunal) that found that the respondent lawfully terminated a Cartage Agreement (Agreement) with the appellant after the... More detail
Full Bench grants extension of time for appellant lodge appeal and to file appeal books Tuesday, 17 March 2020 The Full Bench has unanimously granted an extension of time for an appellant who filed a Notice of Appeal out of the time limit prescribed by the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA) (Act) and had not filed appeal books as required by the Industrial... More detail
Unfair dismissal claim dismissed for lack of jurisdiction as family trusts found to be national system employer Friday, 06 March 2020 The Commission has determined on the papers that it is unable to hear an unfair dismissal claim because the applicant was employed by a national system employer and the Commission does not have jurisdiction to hear the matter. The application... More detail

Unfair dismissal

A dismissal may be unfair when an employer terminates an employee’s employment in circumstances that are harsh, oppressive or unfair.  The Commission can only deal with unfair dismissal claims made against State system employers.  Claims of unfair dismissal by many government employees are dealt with by the Public Service Appeal Board

An unfair dismissal claim is started by the employee filing a Form 2 – Notice of claim of harsh, oppressive or unfair dismissal.  The Commission's forms can be found here.

A claim of unfair dismissal can also be pursued by a union under section 44 of the Industrial Relations Act 1979

1  Who can bring an unfair dismissal claim?

The Commission does not have the power to deal with every case when someone is dismissed in what might be unfair circumstances.  For the Commission to be able to deal with a claim: 

  1. The employer must be in the State system;
  2. The claim must be brought within 28-days of the dismissal, unless the Commission decides that it would be unfair not to accept the claim (time limit);
  3. The person dismissed must have been an employee;
  4. Their salary must be less than the prescribed amount (the salary cap), unless they are covered by an industrial instrument; and
  5. They cannot be government officers and some other government employees.

Employees on probation or employed for less than 3 months may make a claim of unfair dismissal, but in deciding whether a dismissal was unfair, the Commission will take these factors into account.

2  What is the claim about?

An unfair dismissal claim is about whether the employer exercised their lawful right to dismiss in a way that was harsh, oppressive or unfair in all of the circumstances.  The Commission can award reinstatement or compensation up to a maximum of 6 months of the employee's wages. 

The claim focusses on two aspects of the dismissal: 

  • whether the penalty of dismissal was appropriate in the circumstances; and/or
  • whether the employer's procedure in arriving at the decision to dismiss was unfair to the employee and therefore it
  • should not be allowed to stand.

A failure by the employer to adopt a fair procedure in reaching the decision to dismiss the employee does not automatically mean that the dismissal was unfair. 

More information about the types of dismissal and what these claims are about can be found here.

3  Process for dealing with an unfair dismissal claim

Claims of unfair dismissal are dealt with by conciliation.  If the parties are unable to reach agreement through conciliation, the matter may be decided by a Commissioner at a hearing. 

More information about the process for dealing with a claim of unfair dismissal and issues that may be encountered along the way can be found here.

4  Outcome of the process

If a claim of unfair dismissal is unsuccessful, it will be dismissed.  If the claim is upheld, the Commission may order reinstatement or compensation for loss or injury. 

More information about the outcome of the process  can be found here.

5  Enforcement

If the Commission makes an order in favour of the employee and the employer refuses to reinstate the employee or does not pay the compensation awarded, the employee can apply to the Industrial Magistrate's Court to have the order enforced. 

The Industrial Magistrate's Court can also impose a penalty of up to $5,000 on the employer. 

Please refer to the Industrial Magistrate's Court website for more information about enforcement.

6  Appeal

A decision of the Commission in relation to a claim for unfair dismissal can be appealed to the Full Bench.  The appeal must be made within 21 days from the date the decision is handed down.  The Commission issues 2 documents at the end of the matter.  The first is the Reasons for Decision in which the Commission sets out why he or she has come to their decision.  The second is the Order which sets out the outcome.  The relevant decision for the purpose of an appeal is the Order made by the Commission. 

More information about appeals to the Full Bench may be found here.

Contact Us

Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission
17th Floor
111 St Georges Terrace
PERTH WA 6000

Phone : (08) 9420 4444
Facsimile : (08) 9420 4500
Free Call : 1800 624 263

Free Fax :1800 804 987

Email : Registry

 

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