When the summons is filed, a date is set for a Conciliation Conference. The purposes of Conciliation are to help the parties reach agreement, to produce an assessment of the merits of the case and a recommendation about what should happen. Neither the assessment and recommendation, nor anything else said or done at the Conciliation can be used in a trial on the merits of the application.
The Conciliation Conference can, however, be referred to in a costs application. Until 14 days after the Conciliation Conference there is no risk of a costs order. After that time if the worker loses or withdraws before the conclusion of the trial, or is successful and receives the same or less than an offer made by the employer, the employer may apply to have the worker pay their legal costs. The worker will have to pay the employer’s legal costs if they are found to be unreasonable.
Generally speaking, the AWU will represent you at the Conciliation Conference and advise you on the assessment and recommendation.
Assessment on whether the AWU will represent you at a trial will be made on each application. Careful attention will be given to the circumstances of each particular matter. Conducting a trial requires a huge amount of resources and you may be asked to make a commitment of resources also.
It is required that you accept our reasonable advice for the AWU to continue to represent you. At any stage you are free to take advantage of your membership entitlement of a first free interview with a solicitor for a second opinion. These are the general rules of the AWU’s representation of members in Unfair Dismissal matters. Every matter will be individually assessed.
Please contact your Representative if you wish to discuss these issues in more detail.