The Cardinal Rule
The most important request we have for you is to notify us as soon as possible if either an issue has arisen, or you anticipate that an issue may arise!
It is better to pre-empt an issue and to engage us right away rather than leave it to the last minute.
Examples of this may include: reaching out to us before you submit a Comcare claim rather than notifying us at the reconsideration stage, as well as notifying us at the beginning of a PRS investigation rather than just before a Natural Justice Response is due.
The L&I Team oversee a high workload, regularly receiving around 80-100 new matters per month and having as many as 100 open matters per Industrial Officer at any time. To manage this workload, we triage all matters internally and prioritise them based on several factors, predominantly the imminency of any upcoming deadlines.
We aim to respond to matters within 72 hours where possible (exclusive of weekends); however, for critical matters, we will contact you as soon as possible. If your matter requires urgent attention due to an earlier deadline, please bring this to our attention in your initial enquiry.
How to ensure your matter is triaged accurately:
- Inform us of any upcoming deadlines.
- Provide as much detail as possible in your initial enquiry (either by email or phone).
- If you have any documentation relating to your matter, please forward it to AFPA@afpa.org.au.
Benefits of a comprehensive initial enquiry
There are many benefits to providing us with as much information as possible at the time of your initial enquiry, in particular:
- Your matter will be triaged appropriately.
- The L&I Team will be able to provide you with more comprehensive advice in the first instance. That means that hopefully your matter will be resolved even faster!
- It gives the L&I Team the opportunity to identify all the industrial issues that you may be facing in relation to your matter.
Often, our members face challenging matters that are unable to be resolved immediately, but that also do not require constant attention. Additionally, we acknowledge that many of our members are engaged in operational activities and have their own busy work schedules. Sometimes responding to AFPA emails relating to your matter is not a priority.
Please bear in mind that the L&I Team are constantly triaging their workloads. If you have not corresponded with us regarding your matter for some time, we are required to re-triage your matter accordingly with our current workload. If your matter is urgent and your Industrial Officer does not have capacity at that time, they will provide a handover to another Industrial Officer with capacity.
If you are aware of an upcoming deadline or development, please notify the Industrial Officer with carriage of your matter as soon as possible.
A final note to remember
On a final note, we acknowledge that members’ issues can often be very emotional and cause a great deal of distress. The L&I Team is committed to helping you as best we can within the constraints of the relevant legislation and AFP governance.
Please remember that we also carry a high workload and are solely focused on assisting each member as best we can.
We appreciate your patience and request that you bear in mind that we are advocating for you within the parameters of any particular situation. Just as we condemn poor treatment of our members in their workplace, we also deserve and expect respectful communication in our own.
We look forward to hearing from and assisting you with any future matters.