Industrial Relations Commission of NSW

Filing of Documents in Computer Readable Format

Practice Note No. 30A

Issued 15 February 2018, replacing Practice Note 30

Issued pursuant to Section 185A of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 and Section 15 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005

1. The purposes of this Practice Note are:

a) to facilitate the processing of matters before the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales by providing for, encouraging and requiring that documentation filed in certain classes of matters by a party be accompanied by a copy of that documentation in computer-readable format;

b) to provide for and encourage the use of technology in matters before the Commission; and

c) to provide an appropriate foundation for further use of technology in proceedings before the Commission.

2. This Practice Note has effect from the date of re-issue.

3. Except as provided for by paragraph 7 of this Practice Note, it shall not apply to:

a) proceedings under s 84 (Unfair Dismissal) or s 130 (Notification of Industrial Dispute) of the Industrial Relations Act 1996;

b) parties to any matter who are not represented by a barrister, solicitor, agent or industrial organisation.

c) annexures or attachments to documents which are not, or not readily, available in computer-readable format; or

d) in respect of the following forms:

  • Notice of Appearance
  • Notice of Discontinuance
  • Appointment or Change of Solicitor or Agent
  • Certificate pursuant to section 347 of the Legal Profession Act or undertaking to file such certificate
  • Copies of Summons under section 165 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996 or Notices to Produce (Form 46).

4. For the purpose of this Practice Note:

'computer-readable format' means an electronic version of a document in such medium and in such format as to be compatible with, and readable by, the computer system of the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales from time to time and/or as specified by the Industrial Registrar or the Registrar's delegate from time to time.

'compatible with, and readable by' requires that documents be filed:

a) in one or more of the following formats:

i) in the case of text, Microsoft Word (DOCX) or Rich Text Format (RTF), or

ii) in the case of images, Tagged Image Format (TIF), Graphical Image Format (GIF) or Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPG), or

iii) when (i) or (ii) are not practical, in text-searchable Portable Document Format (PDF)  where the document is not protected within Adobe, and

b) in an electronic medium, that allows for the transfer of the document between computer systems, using:

i) a data storage device (such as CD-ROM, DVD, USB flash drive), or

ii) an electronic communication, unless otherwise specified, via email to the email addresses in paragraph 9

or is in such other format or medium as is approved for the time being by the Registrar.

'matter' means any proceedings heard or to be heard before the Commission.

'party' includes intervener and any person, firm, corporation, or organisation appearing, or seeking to appear or intervene, in proceedings before the Commission.

5. A party to a matter before the Commission must file a copy of any document lodged in that matter in a computer-readable format at the time of filing of the document. The document provided by the party in electronic form shall contain the same text as the paper copy.

This paragraph requires, amongst other matters, that any party seeking orders to be made (for example, in respect of a matter where judgment has been delivered or where the Commission directs short minutes of orders to be filed) must, when filing the hard copy version of the proposed orders, also provide the document in a computer-readable format.

6. The electronic version of the documents filed in the proceedings are to be named, or labelled, for identification purposes and such name, or label, is to include the Matter Number when allocated, and an abbreviated Title of the document or proceedings.

7. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Registrar or the Commission may, on application or otherwise, direct one or more parties to a matter to file, or to file and serve, all or any particular documentation in computer-readable format or may waive the obligations of any party from complying in whole or part with the requirements of this Practice Note.

8. In addition, the Registrar or the Commission may in any matter, where application is made therefor or in any case where it is considered appropriate, apply to the matter the terms of Supreme Court Practice Note SC Gen 7 (Supreme Court - Use of Technology, issued on 9 July 2008 in whole or in part, subject to conditions or otherwise). A link to Supreme Court Practice Note No SC Gen 7 is provided on the Commission's website.

9. In respect of the following class of matters the compliance with paragraph 5 of this Practice Note may be made by email transmission to the specified addresses below and the filing of a copy of the transmission report:

matters to which Rule 6.3 of the Industrial Relations Commission Rules2009 applies (this rule requires that a copy of an Award or Award Variation must be supplied in computer readable format) [by email to:]; and

matters in which the Commission has directed that submissions of parties be filed [by email to:];

10. In respect of the matters to which paragraph 9 applies the subject heading to the email must include the following:

Rule 6.3 matters: The title of the matter and the Commission file number in format year/file number, for example, IRC2004/1000.

Submissions: The title of the matter and the Commission file number in format year/file number, for example, IRC2004/1000.

11. Although it is essential that all aspects of this Practice Note are strictly observed it is of particular importance that requirements under Rule 6.3 (that the applicant must file a copy of the award in a computer-readable format) be complied within the time specified by the Commission when the Award or Variation is made as the Industrial Registry publishes such material on the NSW industrial relations website.

P M Kite SC, Chief Commissioner
15 February 2018

Announcement of Practice Note 20 Feb 2018

Last updated:

11 May 2023

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