Practice Note No.4

First Issue Date:
17 December 1999
Re-Issue Date
1 February 2010

Re-issued pursuant to Section 185A of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 and Section 15 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005

(1) The purpose of this Practice Note is to allow the parties the opportunity to seek to have certain conferences conducted by way of telephone conference where appropriate circumstances are shown to exist to justify the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales taking that step.

(2) This Practice Note has effect from the date of re-issue.

(3) This Practice Note applies to conciliation or other conferences held by the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales (�the Commission�) in the following proceedings:

Description of Proceedings
Conciliation or other Conference under:
Application pursuant to section 84 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996relating to alleged unfair dismissalSection 86, Industrial Relations Act 1996
Application pursuant to section 106 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996relating to alleged unfair contractSection 109, Industrial Relations Act 1996
Notifications relating to industrial disputes pursuant to section 130 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996Section 134, Industrial Relations Act 1996
Inquiry into any industrial matterSection 162(2)(j), Industrial Relations Act 1996

However, nothing in this Practice Note prevents the Commission using telephone conferencing or any other form of procedure in any of the matters listed above or in any other matter.

(4) Any party may ask the Commission to conduct a conference by way of a telephone conference, rather than by personal appearance, where it is not, or may not be, practicable for a party to attend a conference for reasons of:
    (a) costs;
    (b) distance;
    (c) physical or other disability;
    (d) the nature of the relationship between the parties; or
    (e) such other reason as appears appropriate to the Commission.

    (5) A party proposing to make a request to the Commission must, before doing so, make reasonable attempts to obtain the consent of all other parties to the matter to the matter being conducted in that manner.

    (6) A request must:
      (a) be in writing addressed to the Industrial Registrar;
      (b) set out the grounds on which the request is made;
      (c) be made as soon as practical after the party is notified of the proposed date of the conference;
      (d) indicate whether the application is by consent of the other parties to the matter and, if not, what response to the request for consent was given by the other parties; and
      (e) set out telephone numbers (which must not be mobile telephone numbers) at which the applicant for the telephone conference and all parties to the proceedings may be reached.

      (7) The Commission may, if it thinks appropriate that the conference be held by telephone, agree to the request, with or without such conditions as it thinks fit. The Commission shall notify the parties of the result of the application but shall not be obliged to give reasons for its decision.

      (8) (a) As soon as a party is notified by the Commission that a conference is to be held by way of telephone, each party, if it has not already done so, must notify the Industrial Registrar forthwith in writing of a telephone number (which must not be a mobile telephone number) at which the party can be reached.

          (b) It is the responsibility of each party to be available at the number given at the time specified by the Commission.

      (9) Parties should ensure that any documents to which they wish to refer in a telephone conference are sent to the Commission, and served on the other parties to the conference, prior to the date of the conference. Documents should be sent to the Industrial Registry so as to arrive at least 24 hours before the conference. Documents which do not exceed more than 20 pages in total may be sent by facsimile.

      Boland J, President
      1 February 2010