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Making an application to the Fair Work Commission (FWC)

A MOP(S) Act employee who reasonably believes that he or she has been bullied at work can apply to the FWC under the Fair Work Act for an order to stop the bullying. Remedies available under the Fair Work Act do not apply to reasonable management action carried out in a reasonable manner.

The FWC must start to deal with an application within 14 days after it is made. In doing so, it may inform itself in any way, including through inquiries or by requiring the provision of information from other parties

If the FWC is satisfied that a valid application has been made, that bullying conduct has occurred and there is risk of further bullying, the FWC is empowered to make any order it considers appropriate (other than an order requiring the payment of monies) to prevent the worker from being bullied at work. An order cannot be made where the worker is no longer exposed to bullying (for example, if the worker has resigned or their employment has been terminated).

If the FWC does not have jurisdiction to make an order, or where an application has no reasonable prospects of success, the application may be dealt with, and dismissed, early in the process.

The FWC has noted that the prevention and resolution of alleged bullying matters within the workplace should be encouraged where appropriate. For this reason, MOP(S) Act employees are encouraged to work through the other options referred to in this policy before making an application to the FWC.

Last updated: 16 September 2019