23 March 2020
COVID-19 – Changes to Court Operations
In line with the medical advice from the Department of Health, the Industrial Relations Commission will be altering its service delivery. It is essential for the wellbeing of the community and the maintenance of the rule of law that the Courts and the Commission continue to operate, to the extent possible, in the current challenging environment. The Commission is responding to the developing COVID-19 pandemic by reviewing all operations to ensure all essential services are maintained and non-essential services continue for as long as practicable, consistent with health advice.
The Commission is equipped to utilise teleconferencing and in some circumstances, audio visual equipment to allow matters to continue remotely. The Commission's paramount consideration remains the wellbeing of all Commission users. Everyone must adhere to health advice in relation to social distancing, self-isolation, hygiene and the management of symptoms.
From Tuesday 24 March 2020 the IRC registry will close to the public for a period of 2 weeks.
Parties are required to comply with current directions for their matters unless advised otherwise, or an application is made to the Registrar with supporting reasons as soon as the parties become aware they are unable to comply.
The registry will continue to function and provide service regarding lodgement of applications, supporting documents, industrial organisations and awards and industrial gazette.
No personal appearances
In line with the current health advice, on and from Tuesday, 24 March 2020 there will be no personal appearances in any matters save in exceptional circumstances with the leave of the Chief Commissioner. This also applies to unrepresented litigants.
The Commission will contact parties about the conduct of currently listed arbitrations, including about possible use of video and teleconference facilities which may be available for their matter.
Conciliations, directions and report backs will proceed by way of teleconference.
Listings and/or remote arrangements may alter at short notice. The Commission will endeavour to contact parties and representatives as soon as practicable in these circumstances. Parties should also refer to the Commission's website for updates and review the daily listing notices.
Electronic delivery of documents
The Commission will allow the filing of applications by email to:
The Commission will acknowledge receipt of the documents by return email. Parties will not receive a stamped copy of the document filed by email.
When filing evidence such as statements and affidavits where the total number of pages is below 50 (for the case, not per document) the registry will accept filing by email, and you will receive an email acknowledgement of the filing. If the total number of pages is greater than 50, parties will be required to file by post to PO Box 927 Parramatta NSW 2124. Parties should anticipate how long it will take for mailed documents to be received by the registry.
This is a temporary arrangement as a result of advice from the Department of Health.
Further information can be found at: NSW Health, www.health.nsw.gov.au
Health Direct, telephone 1800 022 222.