The Industrial Division of the Magistrates’ Court deals with all claims brought under the Fair Work Act 2009 and the old Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Commonwealth) for disputes by an employee against an employer (excluding workplace injury), concerning matters such as entitlements under a contract of employment, award or Australian Workplace Agreement. Matters may also be brought under the Long Service Leave Act 1992, the Public Holidays Act 1993, the Outworkers (Improved Protection) Act 2003 or the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.
The jurisdictional limit of the Industrial Division is $100,000. There is a small claims section of the Industrial Division, which deals with claims under $20,000.
The Industrial Division of the Magistrates’ Court is located at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. Hearings at other Court locations across Victoria may be arranged with the Registrar of the Industrial Division as required.
Filing of documents
With the exception of Small Claims matters, all documentation filed in the Industrial Division shall be in accordance with the Magistrates’ Court General Civil Procedure Rules 2010.
All documents must be filed at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and must be headed: “In the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria at Melbourne (Industrial Division)”
All matters falling within the Small Claims section of the Industrial Division (under $20,000) must be filed in the required Small Claims form. See Related Forms. These simplified forms are for use in the Small Claims section only.
The usual fees payable on matters in the civil jurisdiction are payable on Industrial Division matters. See Costs and Fees Ready Reckoner under Related Publications.
Following the filing of a Notice of Defence, Industrial Division matters will be listed for a Directions Hearing before a Magistrate in approximately three weeks. Parties located in regional areas may request to attend via telephone. Directions Hearings are held every Wednesday in Courtroom 16 at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.
Should the matter not resolve at the Directions Hearing, the Magistrate may do one of the following:
- Adjourn the matter for further Directions Hearing
- Refer to the matter to mediation, to be conducted by a Judicial Registrar
- Refer the matter to Pre-Hearing Conference, to be conducted by a Registrar
- List the matter for Hearing before a Magistrate in the Industrial Division.
Each Judicial Registrar of the Magistrates’ Court is a qualified mediator and has been trained in the Fair Work Act disputes.
Where possible, all claims in the Industrial Division will be listed before a Magistrate with experience in workplace relations, sitting in the Industrial Division. Regional parties may arrange an Industrial Division sitting in their area upon notifying the Industrial Division Registrar.