A division of the Magistrates’ Court that deals with disputes by an employee against an employer - excluding workplace injury. The Industrial Division sits at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court only.
Going to court can be a complex and costly process. You should seek legal advice before starting a civil matter. You can also speak to the other party to try and resolve the dispute.
Claims in the Industrial Division can be brought under the:
- Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
- Long Service Leave Act 2018
- Public Holidays Act 1993
- Outworkers (Improved Protection) Act 2003
- Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
- Safe Patient Care (Nurse to Patient and Midwife to Patient Ratios) Act 2015.
Claims of up to $20,000 are filed with the small claims section of the Industrial Division. To start and defend a small claim, you must use specific forms. See the Industrial Division – small claims section in the form finder.
Both the plaintiff and defendant are required to seek leave – permission - from a magistrate to be represented by a lawyer in the small claims section of the Industrial Division. Leave may be verbally sought at the directions hearing.
See the guide to Industrial Division Small claims proceedings for information about the small claims process.
If the claim is over $20,000 and up to $100,000, all documentation filed in the Industrial Division must comply with the Magistrates’ Court General Civil Procedure Rules 2010 or the Magistrates' Court (Miscellaneous Civil Proceedings) Rules 2010. The usual fees payable for matters in the civil jurisdiction also apply.
To start a general claim, see the starting a civil matter page. The same civil forms can be used, but you must state, at the top of every form, that the complaint is for the Industrial Division. Alternatively, see a list of Industrial Division - general forms in the form finder.
If you are defending a claim in the Industrial Division, see the defending a civil matter page for information about the forms that need to be completed.
Defended claims in the Industrial Division will be listed for a directions hearing where a judicial officer may:
- adjourn the matter for a further directions hearing
- refer the matter to a pre-hearing conference
- refer the matter to mediation.
An adjournment may result in costs being awarded against the party who wishes to have the hearing adjourned.
This is not a full list of legislation associated with this topic. See the Victorian Government's legislation website for more information.