Standing Order 215(c) allows the Committee to inquire into the annual reports of departments and authorities within its areas of responsibility, as set out in the schedule presented by the Speaker. The annual reports of the Fair Work Commission stand referred to the Committee in accordance with this schedule.
The Committee is conducting a short, focussed inquiry under Standing Order 215(c), examining certain aspects of the Fair Work Commission Annual Report 2019-20. The Committee is particularly interested in the President, Justice Iain Ross AO’s, observation (page 6) that ‘while responding to the consequences of the pandemic, the Commission has also seen an increase in its caseload with substantial increases in the number of unfair dismissal matters and workplace disputes.’
The Committee is seeking submissions from the Fair Work Commission and selected employee and employer groups about how policy responses designed to manage the COVID-19 pandemic may impact the Fair Work Commission’s caseload, including vaccine mandates, shutdowns, lockdowns, self-isolation and quarantine, and inconsistencies between the public health orders of the states and territories.
The Committee encourages the selected employer and employee groups to seek feedback from their members in considering their response to the Committee’s request for evidence.
The Committee is not seeking submissions from the public.
Submissions are being sought from selected employer and employee groups by 9 November 2021 and can be emailed to the secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.