Representation in the Fair Work Commission

The ability of an employer to be represented by a lawyer in a bullying case where the applicant was not are illustrated by a recent case of the Fair Work Commission which granted the employer leave to be represented but only because there were legal issues about jurisdiction involved.
Deputy President John Kovacic based the grant of leave on the jurisdictional issues which arose from argument to be put about the applicant’s employment status, the legal status of the employer and whether it is a constitutional corporation , whether the application had reasonable prospects of success and the issue whether the applicant had been subject to reasonable management action, carried out in a reasonable manner, which is a defence to a bullying claim.
He said the jurisdictional issues to be argued by the organisation “raise a number of potentially complex issues” – the key one being whether the practitioner meets the definition of “worker” under sub-sec 789FC(2)
A v R (2014) FWC 4198 delivered on 24 June 2014