Announcement - Alteration to Listing Procedures for Unfair Dismissal Claims and new Practice Direction No. 17 to replace Practice Direction No. 11

23 December 2005

Commencing from 9 January 2006 the Industrial Relations Commission will commence to a new system for the allocation of hearing dates for the arbitration of unfair dismissal claims in respect of matters in the Sydney metropolitan and regional areas.

The new procedures will commence from 9 January 2006 in conjunction with the commencement of Practice Direction No 17.

The Commission recognises that a key to the resolution of unfair dismissal claims is the timely listing of such matters to ensure that such proceedings are conducted before the Commission in an efficient and expeditious manner and that practitioners and others who appear before the Commission do all they can to facilitate the just, quick and cost effective disposal of unfair dismissal proceedings before the Commission.

Sydney Metropolitan Area.

When a conciliation is unsuccessful , the usual directions in paragraph 10 of Practice Direction No 17 (replacing Practice Direction No. 11) shall operate, unless, after application by a party to the proceedings, the Commission considers that the "usual directions" should be modified or alternative directions made. The Commission may also make such other directions as it thinks appropriate in accordance with paragraph 11 of the Practice Direction.

The Member of the Commission shall then direct the parties to attend the List Office of the Registry for the purpose of the allocation of a date or dates for the arbitration hearing.

The List Office will:

  • advise the parties of the next available hearing date
  • allocate a hearing date
  • allocate a date for a compliance check call-over date within two weeks of the date on at which the applicant has been directed to file and serve his or her evidence

In respect of matters where there has been non-compliance with the directions the parties will be required to attend the call-over. Where there has been compliance, that mention will be cancelled, the hearing date will be confirmed and the parties advised accordingly.

It is important for respondents to note that if they do not comply with directions applicable to them the consequence for the respondent is, in accordance with the Usual Direction under paragraph 10(vi) of Practice Direction No 17, that it will not, without leave of the Commission, be able to rely on written statements filed and served later than the time specified in the Usual Directions at the time the matter is set down for arbitration

Where a matter does not conclude in the time allocated for hearing the matter will be fixed by the List Office as a part-heard fixture for further hearing by the relevant Member. The Member shall direct the parties to attend the List Office of the Registry for the purpose of the allocation of further dates for the arbitration hearing.

Regional Matters.

In respect of regional matters where there is a failed conciliation, the Commission will make directions in accordance with Practice Direction No 17 and stand the matter over for a date to be fixed for hearing. These matters will then be case managed by registry officers to the point that the matter is ready to be allocated a hearing date when the matter will be referred to the Regional Panel Head for that purpose.

In the North of NSW, enquiries should be directed to the Office Manager, Hunter and Newcastle Regional Registry.

In the South of NSW, enquiries should be directed to the Office Manager, Wollongong Regional Registry.

In the West of NSW, enquiries should be directed to the Team Leader, Client Services, Sydney Registry.


Action is currently being undertaken to list matters before a Registrar’s Callover in which directions have been made prior to the commencement of Practice Direction No 17 for the purpose of ascertaining the current status as to compliance with directions earlier made and for the purpose, where the matter is ready, of allocating a hearing date.

Practice Direction 17 .