Understanding the process

Find out more about our process to assess whether we can assist with your workplace problem. We also explain what you can expect from us and how we use the information you give us.

If you’re raising an issue – how to help the process

To make the process of assessing your workplace issue as quick and straightforward as possible, please:

  • Give us accurate and complete information.
  • Make yourself available during business hours in the 2 weeks after asking for our help to provide a statement. If we can’t contact you or you don’t confirm your statement, we won’t be able to help you.
  • If requested, provide documents to support the issues you’ve raised by the time we ask for them.
  • Provide accurate contact details of the other party so that we can contact them if necessary. 

Keep communicating

We also encourage employees and employers to continue talking to each other to try and resolve the issue on your own. In our experience, this is the most effective way to resolve issues that occur in the workplace. 

Visit Raising your problem in the workplace to make sure you’ve followed the steps to try and find solutions on your own before you ask for our help. 

Tell us if you no longer need our help

Most workplace issues happen because people don’t know what the law is, or because communication has broken down. When we get involved, the FWO officer looking after your issue will provide you with advice and tools that can often help you to resolve your issue. 

If this happens, or if you no longer need our help, please let us know. 

If you’re responding to an issue – how to help the process 

In most cases when we’re asked to help with a workplace issue, we’ll contact the other party in response to the issues raised. 

If we contact you as the other party, we’ll invite you to provide a statement to respond to the issues raised. You can choose not to provide a statement, but we encourage you to. A statement from you is your opportunity to respond to the issues raised and to tell us your side of the story. It is also one of the things we use to help us decide whether we can get involved. 

Receiving our request to provide a statement does not automatically mean that you have done something wrong. 

You can help our decision-making process by: 

  • letting us know if you are or aren’t the right person for us to talk to 
  • working with the FWO officer to provide a statement about the issues raised
  • providing honest and accurate information 
  • if requested, providing documents to support your statement.

Tell us if you made a mistake or disagree with the issues raised

Most workplace issues occur because people don’t know what the law is, or because communication has broken down. 

If you’ve already taken steps to resolve the issue directly or were unaware of your obligations and have now resolved the issue, please let us know. 

During this step of our process, the FWO officer will provide tailored information to help you understand the issues.

What you can expect from us during the process

Our aim is to help people in a courteous, respectful and timely way. Our Customer Experience Statement and Customer Service Charter outline our commitment to you and to delivering quality services. 

We treat everyone fairly and without bias. It’s important to remember that we are neutral and impartial and that our role is to help both employers and employees. We don’t act or advocate for either party.

During our assessment process, we’ll tell you about likely outcomes based on the information we receive. If we can’t help with a request, we’ll discuss potential options available to you. For example, you may be able to take legal action in the small claims court. We don’t provide legal advice.

We’ll keep all parties updated about the progress of our assessment and the outcomes. 

For more information, visit Our commitment to you.

How we use your information

We make our decision about whether to take further action and what action to take based on the information we collect. 

A FWO officer collecting information is an Australian government official. It is an offence under the Criminal Code to provide false or misleading information or documents to them.

A FWO officer will advise all parties about what information we require for our assessment process. In some cases, all we need is a true and correct statement. We may ask for other documents (such as payslips) if they’re available and relevant to the issues. If we request these, we’ll let you know when you need to give them to us and how to send the documents to us.  

We won’t contact the other party in a workplace issue unless you give us permission to and have provided their details. Read about how we protect your privacy on our Privacy page.

Closing or withdrawing your request for help

At any time during the process, we may choose not to get involved where:

  • the person asking for help can’t be contacted, or doesn’t participate in the process
  • the issues raised are out of our jurisdiction 
  • the issues are resolved between both parties before or during our assessment process 
  • the person making the request no longer needs our help or wants to take alternative action
  • we decide that we won’t or can’t take further action in line with our Compliance and enforcement policy .

Where we decide not to investigate or a party isn’t satisfied with the outcome, you can request a review of the decision using our Feedback form.

Tools and resources

Related information

Help for small business