Fair Work Commission
Logo of the Australian Fair Work Commission
Established2009; 15 years ago (2009)
LocationAll capital cities in Australia.
MottoAustralia's national workplace relations tribunal
Composition methodAppointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Australian Government
Authorized byFair Work Act 2009
Annual budgetA$126.89 million (2021–22)
CurrentlyJustice Adam Hatcher
Jurist term endsAt the age of 65
Vice Presidents
  • Joe Catanzariti
  • Ingrid Ashbury
SinceAt the age of 65

The Fair Work Commission (FWC), until 2013 known as Fair Work Australia (FWA),[1] is the Australian industrial relations tribunal created by the Fair Work Act 2009 as part of the Rudd Government's reforms to industrial relations in Australia.[2][3] Operations commenced on 1 July 2009. It is the successor of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, and also performs functions previously performed by the Workplace Authority and the Australian Fair Pay Commission.

The office of President of the Fair Work Commission has been held by Justice Adam Hatcher since 19 February 2023.[4]

As of 29 May 2019, it operates under the portfolio of the Australian Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus MP.[5] The general manager of the FWC is Murray Furlong, who was appointed in October of 2021.[6]

FWC's functions include the setting and varying industrial awards, minimum wage fixation, dispute resolution, the approval of enterprise agreements, and handling claims for unfair dismissal.


FWC is an independent workplace relations tribunal with the power and authority to regulate and enforce provisions relating to minimum wages and employment conditions, enterprise bargaining, industrial action, dispute resolution, and termination of employment.[7]

The Fair Work Act is an attempt to create a more national system for regulating industrial relations in Australia. Each state has the discretion to hand over some or all of their industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth, and should a state decide to refer their powers to a centralized and national industrial relations system, all the employees of that state would effectively be covered by the national Fair Work Act. The FWC has taken over the roles of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) in matters of workplace disputes and industrial actions. It is also involved in the process of determining national industrial relations policies, including setting minimum wages and regulating the award system. Since the introduction of the Fair Work Act, all states except Western Australia have referred their powers to the Commonwealth.[8]


When originally founded, all FWC members were previously members of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. The FWC has a President (currently vacant), two Vice Presidents, a number of Deputy Presidents and Commissioners. The General Manager reports to the President and is responsible for administration. This position replaced the Industrial Registrar. The inaugural President was Justice Giudice. He retired from this position in February 2012, and was succeeded by former Victorian Supreme Court judge Iain Ross who served from 2012 to 2022.[9]

FWC has members based in Melbourne (M), Sydney (S), Brisbane (B), Newcastle (N), Perth (P), Adelaide (A) and Canberra (C). The members of the FWC, as at September 2023, are:[10]


Vice presidents

Deputy presidents


Additional members

Additional members are dual appointees with other bodies, or sit part-time as expert panel members:

See also


  1. ^ "About Amendment Act". Fair Work Commission. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  2. ^ Taylor, Jeremy (1 July 2009). "Unions welcome new Fair Work Act". The 7:30 Report. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Fair Work Act 2009". Federal Register of Legislation. Retrieved 19 November 2022.
  4. ^ Osborne, Paul (9 February 2023). "Ex-union legal adviser to head industrial umpire". The West Australian. West Australian Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  5. ^ "Administrative Order Arrangements" (PDF). Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 29 May 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Appointment of Murray Furlong as General Manager of the Fair Work Commission". Our ministers – Attorney-General's portfolio. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  7. ^ "The Fair Work Commission and us – what's the difference?". Fair Work Ombudsman. 2 September 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  8. ^ Cooper, R; Ellem, B (2009). "Fair Work and the Re-regulation of Collective Bargaining". Australian Journal of Labour Law. 22 (3): 284–305.
  9. ^ Hannan, Ewin (25 February 2012). "All sides approve of Fair Work appointees". The Australian. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  10. ^ "List of Commission Members". Fair Work Commission. Retrieved 2 September 2023.
  11. ^ a b c Porter, Christian. "New appointments to the Fair Work Commission Expert Panel". Attorney-General for Australia and Minister for Industrial Relations. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  12. ^ a b c Burke, Tony (6 March 2023). "Media Release: Appointments to Fair Work Commission Expert Panels". Ministers's Media Centre: Ministers of the Employment and Workplace Relations Portfolio. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 28 May 2023.