Practice Note No.16

First Issue Date:
5 November 2004
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

Filing of Documents in Computer-Readable Format

1. The purposes of this Practice Note are:
    (a) to facilitate the processing of matters before the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales by providing for, encouraging and requiring that documentation filed in certain classes of matters by a party be accompanied by a copy of that documentation in computer-readable format;
    (b) to provide for and encourage the use of technology in matters before the Commission; and
    (c) to provide an appropriate foundation for further use of technology in proceedings before the Commission.

2. This Practice Note has effect from the date of re-issue. When it takes effect it will replace Practice Note No. 9.

3. Except as provided for by paragraph 7 of this Practice Note, it shall not apply to:
    (a) proceedings under s 84 (Unfair Dismissal), s 99 (Dismissal injured employee) or s 130 (Notification of Industrial Dispute) of the Industrial Relations Act1996;
    (b) proceedings under section 106 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 until such time as a Certificate of Unsuccessful Conciliation is issued at which time both parties will be required to file, within a period of 28 days, a copy of all documentation filed in the proceedings in compliance with this Practice Note.
    (c) parties to any matter who are not represented by a barrister, solicitor, agent or industrial organisation.
    (d) annexures or attachments to documents which are not, or not readily, available in computer readable format; or
    (e) in respect of the following forms
    • Notice of Appearance
    • Notice of Discontinuance
    • Notice of Change of Solicitor
    • Certificate pursuant to section 198L of the Legal Profession Actor undertaking to file such certificate
    • Copies of Summons under section 165 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 or Notices to Produce (Form 46)

4. For the purpose of this Practice Note:
    "computer-readable format" means an electronic version of a document in such medium and in such format as to be compatible with, and readable by, the computer system of the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales from time to time and/or as specified by the Industrial Registrar or the Registrar's delegate from time to time.

    "compatible with, and readable by" requires that documents be filed (on either diskette or CD-ROM) in any version of
    • Microsoft Word (DOC) or
    • Rich Text Format (RTF)
      and in relation to any annexures or attachments to documents (which cannot be provided in the above formats)
    • Tagged Image Format (TIF)
    • Graphical Image Format (GIF) and
    • Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPG)
      are acceptable.
    • Portable Document Format (PDF) is not an acceptable format

    "matter" means any proceedings heard or to be heard before the Commission.​

    "party" includes intervenor and any person, firm, corporation, or organisation appearing, or seeking to appear or intervene, in proceedings before the Commission.

5. A party to a matter before the Commission must file a copy of any document lodged in that matter in a computer readable format at the time of filing of the document. The document provided by the party in electronic form shall contain the same text as the paper copy.
This paragraph requires, amongst other matters, that any party seeking orders to be made (for example, in respect of a matter where judgment has been delivered or where the Commission directs short minutes of orders to be filed) must, when filing the hard copy version of the proposed orders, also provide the document in a computer readable format.

6. The electronic version of the documents filed in the proceedings shall be labelled for identification purposes and such label shall include the Matter Number, an abbreviated Title and a list of the documents filed in computer readable format. The documents shall be saved to the diskette or CD-ROM in such a way that allows for easy recognition, for example:

[and should include the IRC matter number where one has been allocated]

7. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Registrar or the Commission may, on application or otherwise, direct one or more parties to a matter to file, or to file and serve, all or any particular documentation in computer-readable format or may waive the obligations of any party from complying in whole or part with the requirements of this Practice Note.

8. In addition, the Registrar or the Commission may in any matter, where application is made therefor or in any case where it is considered appropriate, apply to the matter the terms of Supreme Court Practice Note No SC Gen 7 (supreme Court - Use of Technology, issued on 9 July 2008 in whole or in part, subject to conditions or otherwise). A link to Supreme Court Practice Note No SC Gen 7 is provided on the Commission's website.

9. In respect of the following class of matters the compliance with paragraph 5 of this Practice Note may be made by e-mail transmission to the specified address below and the filing, in lieu of a diskette or CD-Rom, a copy of the transmission report:
10. In respect of the matters to which paragraph 9 applies the subject heading to the e-mail must include the following:
  • Section 34 matters: The short title of the Enterprise Agreement
  • Section 324 matters: The short title of the Contract Agreement
  • Rule 6.3 matters: The title of the matter and the Commission file number in format year/file number, for example, IRC2004/1000.
  • Submissions: : The title of the matter and the Commission file number in format year/file number, for example, IRC2004/1000.

11. Although it is essential that all aspects of this Practice Note are strictly observed it is of particular importance that requirements under Rule 6.3(that the applicant must file a copy of the award in a computer-readable format) be complied within the time specified by the Commission when the Award or Variation is made as the Industrial Registry provides such material to the Office of Industrial Relations immediately upon receipt for the purpose of that Office's Pay Rate Update Service, its website and Award Enquiry Service.

Boland J, President
1 February 2010