What is a hearing?
A hearing is where the Commission receives arguments and evidence from both parties and makes a binding decision on a matter. It usually takes place in a room that is similar to a court room. There are two types of hearings: interlocutory or preliminary hearings and substantive hearings.
Interlocutory or preliminary hearings
There may be issues that have to be determined by the Commission before the merits or substance of an application can be dealt with. These preliminary (or interlocutory) matters may relate to an issue with the employee’s claim that needs to be resolved before the rest of the matter can proceed, such as an application for discovery of documents.
Some examples of preliminary issues include:
- whether the Commission has jurisdiction to deal with the application;
- whether the employee is under the salary cap; or
- whether the Commission can accept an application that was made out of time.
There may be one or more interlocutory hearings before the substantive hearing to deal with preliminary or procedural issues.
A Directions hearing is similar to a preliminary hearing. It is where the Commission will set out how the matter will progress. This can include setting out a timeline for when things ought to occur such as discovery, or when things are to be filed with the Commission, such as outlines of submissions or witness statements.
A substantive hearing is where the Commission hears and determines the substance or merits of the employment or industrial issues in dispute.
- If your claim is successful, the Commission may order your employer or former employer to provide you with the benefit that you were denied. No interest or penalty is applicable.
- If the Commission makes an order in your favour, and your former employer does not comply with the order, you can apply to the Industrial Magistrates Court to have the Commission's order enforced. The Industrial Magistrates Court can also impose a penalty of up to $5,000 on the employer for non-compliance with the Commission's order.