Workplace Advice Clinic
The Fair Work Commission has joined with SMLS and JobWatch in a pilot program to provide free legal assistance to self represented applicants at the Fair Work Commission. The program will benefit those do not generally have the means to access legal advice and require advice and assistance with their employment law issues and / or the employment law legal process.
The program is an appointment based free advice, located at the Fair Work Commission in the CBD. Under the pilot applicants will receive an hours’ free legal assistance from a lawyer from one of the two CLC's on a range of employment law issues. Matters arising generally relate to how to proceed with an unfair dismissal or general protection claim at the Fair Work Commission.
SMLS Civil Lawyer, Daniel says,
'We hope to give people a better understanding of the Fair Work Commission process by providing independent legal advice and procedural guidance... particularly to those who would otherwise not have the means to access a private lawyer.'
Fair Work Commission President, Justice Iain Ross said the pilot was part of the Commission’s ongoing change program Future Directions and was another initiative aimed at promoting fairness and improving access to justice.
‘We are pleased to be able to facilitate this pilot program with JobWatch and the Springvale Monash Legal Service,’ Justice Ross said.
SMLS Executive Director, Kris Walwork, is confident the program will improve on current legal mechanisms, stating:
‘This is an opportunity to refine efficiencies and effectiveness of legal avenues that all too often get bogged down in the adversarial nature of our legal system. A collaborative model ensures best practice use of all resources and an outcome measured approach.’
The pilot will run in Melbourne until the end of 2016, followed by an evaluation.
Appointments can be made by contacting the Fair Work Commission on (03) 8661 7777 or 1300 799 675.