Resolution of Disputes
292. If a dispute relates to a matter arising under this Agreement or the NES, this Part sets out procedures to settle that dispute.
293. An employee who is a party to a dispute may appoint a representative for the purposes of the procedures in this Part.
294. In the first instance, the parties to the dispute must attempt to resolve the dispute at the workplace level, by discussions between the employee or employees and relevant supervisors and/or management.
295. If discussions at the workplace level do not resolve the dispute, a party to the dispute may refer the matter to the Fair Work Commission.
296. The Fair Work Commission may deal with the dispute in two stages:
- the Fair Work Commission will first attempt to resolve the dispute as it considers appropriate, including by mediation, conciliation, expressing an opinion or making a recommendation; and
- if the Fair Work Commission is unable to resolve the dispute at the first stage, the Fair Work Commission may then:
- arbitrate the dispute; and
- make a determination that is binding on the parties.
Note: If the Fair Work Commission arbitrates the dispute, it may also use the powers that are available to it under the Fair Work Act. A decision that the Fair Work Commission makes when arbitrating a dispute is a decision for the purpose of Div 3 of Part 5.1 of the Fair Work Act. Therefore, an appeal may be made against the decision.
297. While the parties are trying to resolve the dispute using the procedures in this Part:
- an employee must continue to perform his or her work as he or she would normally unless he or she has a reasonable concern about an imminent risk to his or her health or safety; and
- an employee must comply with a direction given by the Agency to perform other available work at the same workplace, or at another workplace, unless:
- the work is not safe; or
- applicable work health and safety legislation would not permit the work to be performed; or
- the work is not appropriate for the employee to perform; or
- there are other reasonable grounds for the employee to refuse to comply with the direction.
298. The parties to the dispute agree to be bound by a decision made by the Fair Work Commission in accordance with this term.