Below are questions, and their answers, which are frequently asked by users of the Industrial Court of Queensland and the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
The jurisdiction of the Commission includes the following matters arising within Queensland:
Generally speaking, the Industrial Relations Act 2016 applies to:
Further, the provisions of the Queensland Employment Standards with regards to long service leave, jury service leave and emergency service leave may apply to employers and employees who are generally covered by the Fair Work Act 2009.
Otherwise, if you are a private employer (otherwise known as a national system employer), or a current or past employee of a private employer (a national system employee), then you should contact the Fair Work Commission or the Fair Work Ombudsman for more information.
If you are representing yourself in a hearing or conference before the Industrial Court or Commission, please refer to the "Fact Sheet - Tips for the Self Represented Litigant".
Section 529 of the Industrial Relations Act 2016 deals with the issue of representation generally. For further information regarding when you can and cannot be represented, please refer to the Representation Information Sheet.
Yes. However, there are restrictions placed on when you can be represented by a lawyer (for more information, see below "Legal Representation"). You can also represent yourself. Parties are often represented by lawyers, an agent or industrial advocate, or an officer of a union.
If you wish to be represented by an advocate, agent or industrial organisation, your representative will need to complete a Form 33 - Notice of appointment of agent.
The topic of legal representation is covered in sections 529, 530 and 530A of the Industrial Relations Act 2016.
Generally, in most instances, parties may be represented by a lawyer only if:
However, in relation to public sector appeals, a party may not be legally represented.
Furthermore, Practice Direction 1 of 2023 (Parties or Persons Applying for Leave to be Represented by a Lawyer) outlines the process should a party or person wish to be legally represented in certain (not all) matters before the Commission.
A Representation Information Sheet is available which outlines some further information around legal representation, when a Form 101 (Application for leave to be represented by a lawyer) and Form 102 (Response to application for leave to be represented by a lawyer) are required, generally when legal representation is and isn't allowed, and the steps you need to take should you wish to pursue representation.
Representation is not compulsory, and it is up to you to decide if you wish to be represented.
Because the Commission is impartial, it is unable to make recommendations regarding representation. You may, however, be able to obtain some advice and resources through the following services:
The Commission is an independent tribunal. It plays a major role in contributing to the social and economic wellbeing of people throughout Queensland. It provides a framework for industrial relations that is fair and balanced and supports the delivery of high-quality services, economic prosperity and social justice for Queenslanders.
The Commission facilitates the resolution of work-related matters which exist between parties, either by assisting them in conciliation, or by hearing and deciding issues. The Commission also exercises administrative functions in relation to keeping and maintaining awards and certified agreements.
No. Because the Commission is an independent tribunal, it is unable to represent parties or provide any legal advice to parties.
No. During a hearing, the Commission's role is to hear from all of the parties and decide the matter. The Commission may assist only so far as to information regarding the process.
The Industrial Registry provides high level administrative support to the Court, Commission and Industrial Registrar.
All applications, appeals, forms, documents and material for Court and Commission matters are filed and processed in the Industrial Registry.
The time taken to make a decision is influenced by various factors, for example:
It is not appropriate to enquire as to when a decision of the Commission will be released. Parties to the matter will be notified as soon as a decision is made.
The time taken to hear a matter is largely dependent on the following:
These matters will be discussed with the parties during the course of preparation for hearing.
Not necessarily. Sometimes matters may settle at a conciliation stage, or an applicant/appellant or complainant may choose not to proceed to hearing after discussions are held between the parties. If an applicant/appellant/complainant chooses not to proceed with their matter, they should file a Form 27 - Request to discontinue proceeding.
If a matter is to settle as a consequence of a conciliation conference, the terms of settlement, including the time needed by the parties to finalise a matter, will be discussed.
The setting of hearing dates is dependent upon the following:
The Commission will consider the reason for the non-attendance. In some instances, it may hear and determine a matter in the absence of a party. It is important to ensure you attend the Commission as directed.
In the case of conferences, the Commission may allow parties to appear by telephone or video conferencing. A request may be made in writing.
Depending on differing circumstances, such as the physical location of parties or witnesses, the Commission may also hear matters at various court houses throughout Queensland (pending availability).
The date for your conference or for your hearing will be sent to you in a Notice of Listing. Conference or hearing dates may also be contained within a Directions Order. Ensure to thoroughly read all material sent to you by the Industrial Registry or Commission to ensure no details are missed, such as a date to appear.
The Commission administers its matters via Directions Orders which are the 'road-map' for how your matter will be conducted, when documents are due to be filed, which documents should be filed and provided to other parties, and when you need to appear at the Commission for a conference, mention or hearing.
You must comply with a directions order issued by the Court, Commission or Industrial Registry. Failure to do so can have negative consequences.
All communication with the Court and Commission should be made through the Industrial Registry. Unless there is great urgency, parties are encouraged to use email as the preferred means of communication (email@example.com)
All parties are expected to communicate with each other, and staff, respectfully and courteously. Rude, aggressive or disrespectful behaviour will not be tolerated.
All email correspondence should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Parties are reminded to copy the other party/parties in any communication to the Industrial Registry at all times. Correspondence should clearly refer to the particular matter e.g. including the matter number and name, if applicable.
Industrial Registry staff are not permitted to give legal advice. Staff cannot provide advice as to whether a specific claim/application/appeal should be commenced or what specific information to include in a claim/application/appeal.
Further, parties should not ask what a decision or judgment of the Court or Commission might be, or when a decision or judgment is expected to be released. Staff are not able to interpret decisions, judgements or orders.
Enquiries with staff should be limited to matters relating to practice, procedure and process. Much of the information that can be provided by staff is also publicly available on the website and it is recommended that parties consider these for any resources they seek prior to contacting the Industrial Registry.
The Communication Guideline provides an outline for parties to follow when communicating with the Court, Commission or Industrial Registry.
Most applications, claims and appeals filed in the Industrial Registry do not require a filing fee.
Filing fees are outlined in Schedule 1 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011
Depending on the matters at issue and the duration of the proceeding, hearings before the Commission may be expensive. Barristers, solicitors, medical experts, and witnesses may be involved.
Generally, each party to a proceeding must bear their own costs for the proceeding. There is provision, however, for the Commission to make an order requiring a party to the proceeding to pay all or part of the costs incurred by another party (either by way of a fixed amount or an amount as assessed in accordance with a court scale), if the Commission considers it would be in the interest of justice to do so.
Should you wish to make a request please complete the Search and Copy request form and submit via email to email@example.com. For more information, please refer to the Services tab on the website.
To search or inspect a filed document $5.30. To photocopy a filed document 53c for each page.
Witnesses who attend the Commission are entitled to have their reasonable expenses of travelling to the Commission paid by the person who calls them to give evidence. Those witnesses are also entitled to an allowance equivalent to that which would be payable to a witness in a civil action in the Supreme Court. This allowance is paid daily and is referred to as 'conduct money'. Expert (professional) witnesses, such as doctors or psychiatrists, are entitled to a higher rate of conduct money. For more information regarding amount of conduct money, see the Uniform Civil Procedure (Fees) Regulation 2019.
If you do not pay the required monies to a witness, and the witness does not attend, then your failure to pay the money will be considered a lawful excuse for the non-attendance by the witness.
No. You will only be required to pay those amounts set out in the Uniform Civil Procedure (Fees) Regulation 2019.
Then the witness may have committed an offence and may have proceedings brought against them which may result in a fine.
Generally, each party to a proceeding must bear their own costs. However there are some situations where the Commission may order that the costs and expenses be paid by either party if the Commission considers it would be in the interests of justice to do so.
This will depend on any order made by the Commission. For more information about taxation matters contact the Australian Taxation Office.
Either party may appeal a decision of the Commission. Appeals may be heard by the Industrial Court or a Full Bench of the Industrial Commission, depending on the type of matter being appealed. In some instances you may appeal to the Court of Appeal.
If you disagree with a decision of the Commission in the matter you are a party to, you may appeal the decision to the Industrial Court of Queensland.
IMPORTANT: If you choose to appeal a decision, you must do so within the appeal period, being 21 days from the date the decision of the Commission was released. If the appeal is filed after the 21 days has passed, an application will need to be made requesting an extension of time.
If you are unclear on the appeal process, including the time limit for lodging an appeal, please refer to the Appeals section of the website or contact the Industrial Registry.
A list of employee and employer industrial organisations may be found here - Industrial organisations and associated entities.
The Industrial Registry is able to provide information regarding procedure and process, however the Industrial Registry is not able to provide advice. You may, however, be able to obtain some advice and resources through the following services:
If you, or someone else feels unsafe or is in immediate danger, please call the police on 000. If there is no immediate danger but you require police assistance, phone the 24/7 Police Assistance Line on 13 14 44.
For crisis support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Free online versions of all of the legislation used in the Court and Commission can be found at: www.legislation.qld.gov.au.
The Australian Legal Information Institute ('AustLII') also provides a free resource for locating legislation. It will allow you to search Acts by each section. You can locate AustLII at: austlii.edu.au.
You can also contact the Supreme Court Library Queensland for assistance with locating legislative materials if you have difficulty. The contact details for the Library can be found on its website: sclqld.org.au
The Supreme Court Library also publishes the decisions released by the Court and Commission.
Copies of Queensland Awards and Local government and Queensland public service Agreements may be found on this website.
If you need to determine which Award or Agreement covers your employment, or if you need further interpretation of the Award or Agreement with regards to your entitlements, please contact Information Services (Office of Industrial Relations) on 07 3406 9999.
If you are a private employer (otherwise know as a national system employer), or a current or past employee of a private employer (a national system employee), then you should contact the Fair Work Commission of the Fair Work Ombudsman for more information.
The Industrial Registry operates: Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4.45pm. Registry services are not available on public holidays or during compulsory (Christmas/New Year) closures.
Documents can be filed electronically at any time, however if sent after business hours they will be accepted as being filed the next business day. Documents will not be filed on public holidays, closures, or outside of office hours.
If you are filing a document by email and what you are filing is over 30 pages, the Industrial Registry requires you to also provide a hard copy of the document (see Practice Direction 3 of 2021 - Electronic Filing and Hard Copies of documents).
Generally, any matter listed for hearing in a court room of the Court or Commission is open to the public. Matters shown as being a conference or being convened in a conference room are private with only parties being able to attend. It is recommended that you check the Daily hearing list to ensure that any hearing which you wish to observe is proceeding.
Yes, if you are a party or are issued with an attendance notice, you must appear at the Court of Commission as directed. If you are unable to attend a proceeding, please advise the Industrial Registry as soon as possible providing reasons for your non-attendance. You may also be asked to provide further information or evidence/proof with regards to the reasons as to why you are not able to attend.
You may bring a support person with you to a conference or hearing. It will ultimately be up to the Member as to whether the support person will be permitted to participate.
Witnesses are not required at a conference.
The purpose of most conferences is to try to help the parties to better understand each-others position which may lead to resolution of the matter. Conferences may also assist the parties to better understand the processes and procedures.
Conferences are generally private and informal.
If the applicant/appellant/claimant wishes to proceed with the matter after a conference is held, the Commission may then hear and determine the matter at a formal hearing.
If you are addressing the President, Vice President, or a Deputy President then you should refer to them as "Your Honour".
If you are addressing an Industrial Commissioner you should refer to them as "Commissioner".
You are not permitted to record proceedings, either audio or visual. Parties to proceedings may request a copy of the transcript of proceedings if available.
You should show respect by dressing neatly, although you do not have to wear a suit to proceedings before the Commission.
Should you wish to make a request to search a document in relation to a matter before the Court or Commission, please complete the Search and Copy request form and submit via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please refer to the Services tab on the website.
To search or inspect a filed document $5.30. To photocopy a filed document 53c for each page.
Right to Information (RTI) is the Queensland Government's approach to giving the community greater access to information while providing appropriate protection for an individual's privacy. The Right to Information Act 2009 provides a right of access to government information unless, on balance, it is contrary to the public interest to release the information.
For further information, please see the Right to information section on this website.
As mentioned in the search and copy section above, if you wish to search for information with regards to a matter before the Court or Commission, you should complete a Search and Copy request form.