New initiatives to make Fair Work Australia more productive

AUSTRALIA'S workplace watchdog has set out 25 initiatives it hopes will make it more accessible and easier to deal with.

The initiatives, contained in Future Directions, will be delivered by Fair Work Australia over the next year and are based around four themes - promoting fairness and improving access; efficiency and innovation; accountability, and productivity and engaging with industry.

FWA president Iain Ross said improving fairness and access to the FWA tribunal would be achieved by providing better information in relation to unfair dismissal claims, engaging with providers of free legal services to extend the availability of legal advice to self-represented parties and the introduction of a Fair Hearing practice note setting out the obligations of all people in the hearing process.

"For those unfamiliar with the tribunal's processes and how a hearing is conducted, the experience can be daunting. The information and assistance provided can be a significant benefit to parties," Justice Ross said.

One of the measures the tribunal has taken to improve efficiency is the introduction of timeliness benchmarks for the delivery of reserved decisions and in relation to the time taken to determine applications for the approval of agreements.