Know Your Rights : Industrial Disputes





Industrial Disputes


Disputes can arise at any workplace. A dispute exists when one or more people disagree about something and matters remain unresolved. Industrial disputes are normally where:

  • an individual is in conflict with the employer or a colleague, or
  • a group of employees are in dispute the employer (collective dispute)

Trying to resolve disputes (grievances) at the workplace level is considered to be best practice and this has considerable benefits. However this cannot always occur.

Your Industrial instrument (Award or Enterprise Agreement) will set out the relevant dispute resolution procedure that should be followed.

The relevant dispute resolution procedure is an invaluable tool for a union, and our members, to progress and resolve matters in the workplace. The mandatory dispute procedure must be followed in order to progress to the Commission.

We encourage all members to be aware of the dispute resolution procedure in your industrial instrument. This will be a graduated resolution process and if a dispute cannot be resolved at the workplace level it may be escalated to either the NSW Industrial Commission or the Fair Work Commission.

At the Commission a dispute may be resolved in a two-step process:

1.            Conciliation; and if unsuccessful

2.            Arbitration

If at any time you have an industrial dispute, please contact ASMOF so we can assist.

Early involvement from the Union will often resolve the matter much more rapidly.


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