Unfair Dismissal

If you have lost your job recently, you may be able to bring a claim in the Fair Work Commission for unfair dismissal.

You might also (or instead) have a different type of claim about your termination, for example a general protections claim or a discrimination claim. We can help you decide, based on what has occurred and the outcome you want.

How do I know if I was unfairly dismissed?

Factors that indicate you may have a claim include:

  • You were dismissed for misconduct but:
    • you dispute the allegations;
    • the misconduct was not serious; or
    • you had no opportunity to put your side of the story.
  • You were dismissed for performance concerns that you were not given a chance to fix.
  • You were made redundant but:
    • you could have been redeployed; or
    • someone has been hired in your place.
  • You were unreasonably refused a support person in any meetings about your dismissal.

FAQs

There are three preconditions:

  • You must have been an employee (not a contractor – but sometimes the difference is blurry)
  • You must have been employed for a minimum of:
    • 12 months if your employer had less than 15 employees
    • 6 months if your employer had more than 15 employees
  • Your employment must be covered by an Award or Enterprise Agreement OR you must have been on an annual salary of less than $138,900.

How long have I got?

Not long!  You have to file your application within 21 days of the date that your termination takes effect, and the deadline is strict.  There is very limited scope to extend it.

Your claim will be sent to your employer, who has to file a response within 14 days of receipt.  You will then be required to attend a conciliation conference, the objective of which is to resolve the matter by agreement without going to a hearing.  Any agreement reached will be recorded in a deed that is binding on both you and your employer.  It is therefore important that you be sure about what your rights are, and what compromises you are prepared to make, before you go to conciliation.

If your claim cannot be resolved by negotiation, it will be given a hearing date.

Not necessarily, but having a lawyer involved will add value by:

  • making sure you bring the right kind of claim about your termination
  • helping you understand the best and worst case outcomes so that you know what your negotiation position should be
  • maximising your chances of settling your dispute at conciliation, by narrowing the issues and presenting your case in a measured and logical way (which can be very difficult for you to do if you are upset or angry)
  • if necessary, guiding you through the process necessary to prepare your evidence and present your case at a final hearing.

To get one of our specialist lawyers on your case now, click here.