UPDATED ANNOUNCEMENT – IRC operations during COVID-19

1 April 2020


The Industrial Relations Commission continues to follow the advice of the Australian and New South Wales Departments of Health regarding operations during the current pandemic. 

We provide the following updates since our most recent communication on 23 March 2020. 

No personal attendances at the Commission without leave

Until further notice, there will be no in-person attendances at the Commission without the leave of the Chief Commissioner.
 

Registry services

The Registry counter will remain closed to the public until further notice. Any person seeking access to the Commission in person must obtain the leave of the Chief Commissioner.

The Commission will continue to provide registry services during this time and will continue to accept the filing of applications by email to: irc_client_services@justice.nsw.gov.au  

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 new matters, including notifying new disputes, parties must provide all contact phone numbers for themselves and their representatives for the purpose of telephone conciliations and compulsory conferences. Parties should also provide phone numbers for the other party where known. 

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 must 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.

Filing of new matters and evidence by email is a temporary arrangement to assist with prevention of the transmission of COVID-19.

Arbitrations listed for hearing

Where a matter is listed for hearing between 1 April and 17 April the Commission urges parties to confer as to whether the matter is suitable to be heard on the papers, is suitable for video/teleconference or needs to be deferred until a later date and to notify the Registry of their preference. 

Conciliations and Compulsory conferences

When matters are listed for conciliation or compulsory conference parties should provide or confirm their contact phone numbers to  irc_commissioner_support@justice.nsw.gov.au  2 full business days before the listing to ensure the Commission can make the necessary arrangements.  Where matters are listed urgently then phone numbers must be provided as soon as possible.

 

Virtual Courtroom

The Commission is continuing to implement technology to assist parties to access the Commission during these unprecedented times, including the use of Virtual Courtroom (VCR).

If a Commissioner determines that a case is suitable for video conference then the Commission requires parties to ensure they are familiar with the use of this technology.  Please read the Commission's User Guide for VCR during the COVID-19 pandemic

After hours' assistance

Should a party wish to notify a serious industrial dispute that cannot wait until the next business day or where a party or parties have initiated strike action and this requires urgent intervention of the Commission, parties should contact 0401 142 429.