Today’s HRwisdom Blog post contains some very concerning workplace law statistics for any Australian business.

We also share advice on how to prevent these problems from happening to you.

The President of Fair Work Australia (FWA) is required by the Fair Work Act to provide regular updates to the Minister for Workplace Relations.

Worplace Law Report

The latest quarterly report covers July 2012 to September 2012 and, even though it was only a short time period, there are some concerning things to note.

Unfair Dismissal Concerns Affecting All Australian Employers

Has employing people become any less risky?

How many claims were dismissed because the dismissal was a case of genuine redundancy? Three.

How many claims were dismissed because the dismissal was consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code? One.

How many unfair dismissal cases were settled without a decision being made? 3307.

Much as we hate it, the majority of employers know that unfair dismissal claims are usually settled ‘on the steps’ before it goes to court – even if the employee was terrible and the business did the right thing and followed due process. Unfortunately, it is purely a commercial decision,

That’s one big reason why you need to already know and trust good employment lawyers before something goes wrong.

Industrial Action (Strikes)

In the area of Protected Action and Industrial Action, there were 476 applications for protected ballot orders and 31 applications to get the protected industrial action period extended.

Union Right of Entry Into The Workplace

In the area of Union Right of Entry into the workplace, there were 489 applications for right of entry permits and 498 were actually issued.

Flexible Working Arrangements Disputes

On six occasions, Fair Work Australia was asked to deal with disputes between an employer and the organisation regarding the use of flexible working arrangements.

Enterprise Agreements

There were 2108 applications for the approval of enterprise agreements.

  • However, there were 93 applications for FWA to deal with bargaining disputes made under section 240.
  • In the area of General Protections – Compliance, there were 543 applications for FWA to deal with disputes made under section 365.
  • There were also 134 applications for FWA to deal with disputes made under section372.


It’s a good reason to work out a game plan before these sorts of issues arise.

Workplace LawWe recommend being proactive and making contact with good employment lawyers early.

By being proactive and having your legal advisors in place before anything goes wrong, you can often significantly reduce your risks.

By being proactive, you can quickly audit your current position on workplace law compliance.

You can then identify clear strategies and action plans to fill any gaps.

Workplace Law Recommendations

You can see our legal advice recommendations here:

Workplace Law Video