The Fair Work Commission (FWC) is building up its collection of benchbooks, publishing a draft General Protections Benchbook on 28 November 2013 for public comment. This publication is in addition to the Unfair Dismissals Benchbook, launched on 20 October 2013.
The rationale behind the General Protections Benchbook is to provide greater assistance for self-representing parties, particularly in claims of unfair dismissal and adverse action. The draft is part of the FWC's Future Directions Strategy, which acknowledges and seeks to remedy the challenges arising from increasing numbers of claims made by self-represented parties.
This newest edition uses plain English summaries to explain what constitutes adverse action claims, providing case examples of successful and unsuccessful claims. It outlines the principal general protections to unlawful action as those relating to workplace rights, engagement in industrial activities, shielding workers from sham arrangements, and other protections chiefly against discrimination.