There’s allot of current Commentary Regarding Retired High Court Justice Dyson Heydon, a brilliant jurist, who seems not to be able to keep his hands away from the female associates. What we are currently observing is an increasing percentage of General Prorection applications (F8 & F8C) involve sexual harassment in the workplace.
When the Fair work Act was enacted in July 2009, General Protections applications were predominately about about discrimination/ illness/ injury type issues. Over the ensuring 11 years the claims have moved more to the “excising of workplace rights” a more all embracing approach to disputes in the workplace . Then in the last 4 years, we have found 20-30% of all claims involve some level of sexual harassment and related issues.
The advantage being that General Protections Application Not Involving Dismissal (F8C) the application will be processed and allocated to a Member (equivalent of a judge) of the Fair work Commission immediately and conferences are then convened within 2-3 weeks. Whereby claims lodged with the various Human Rights and Equal Opportunity commissions around the country can vary between 3 to 6 mths. Expediency is important, particularly if the employee is still turning up to work everyday, absolutely stressed out or waiting at home for something to be sorted out before going back to work. Many employees run out of sick pay and holiday pay while waiting for their claims to be processed or resolved. This is not the Human Rights or EO Commission’s fault, claims have to be investigated, plus they have limited resources. The various Federal and State government’s tell the world about how they champion employees rights, yet cut the Commissions budgets. The Fair work Commission have a more direct approach, list the Application immediately, get the matter to a conference ASAP, then go from there. There are pluses and minuses in both approaches, every claim and employees circumstances are different.
Get Advice on the best way to proceed, with a General Protections Application, you don’t have to wait 7-10 years as with the High Court, to lodge a claim, you have the right to bring employers, and individuals to account now.