Conciliation conference

Conciliation Conferences

A conciliation conference may be conducted by the Tribunal. This can help the parties resolve their work health and safety dispute. The purpose of the conciliation conference is to explore whether an agreement can be reached between the parties, not to decide who is right or wrong.

Conciliation is available in many, but not all, matters referred to the Tribunal (see clause 30 Schedule 1 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WA)). Depending on the application that is made, it may proceed straight to a formal hearing, where the issue is determined by the Tribunal.

Conciliation conferences are private and are conducted on a 'without prejudice' basis. This means that what is discussed at a conciliation conference cannot be used against one of the parties if the matter is referred for a hearing. This allows the parties to explore possible settlement options without fear of the other side using any offers or concessions made at the conference, as an admission to various aspects of a claim.

The conference is not recorded, and no transcript is produced. Any visual or audio recording is strictly prohibited. An agreement may be reached during or after the conference. The parties have control over the outcome before the matter reaches the hearing stage. In contrast, if the matter goes to a hearing, the Tribunal will decide the outcome of the matter.

Possible outcomes of conciliation

  • An agreement may be reached during or after the conference.
  • If an agreement is not reached, the Tribunal may hold further conferences depending on the circumstances, or list the matter for a hearing.

For more information please read the Commission’s conciliation conference fact sheet by clicking here.