2 min read
09 Jun 2021
Under Australian law, employees may be protected against being unfairly dismissed from employment. Unfair dismissal in employment law is when an employee’s employment is terminated by their employer in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner. Unfair dismissal can also be claimed even if the employer had a valid reason terminate the employee, yet carried out the termination using the unfair procedures.
Employees who believe they have been unfairly dismissed from work, can lodge an application to the Fair Work Commission. This can be either an unfair dismissal and/or a general protection claim which are discussed below.
As discussed above, unfair dismissal is when an employee is dismissed from their job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner. But what exactly defines harsh, unjust or unreasonable? Let’s take a look.
Australia’s Fair Work Commission may consider an employee has been unfairly dismissed if:
The Fair Work Commission decides if a dismissal is harsh, unjust or unreasonable; considering the following circumstances:
Unfair Dismissal Claims can be made within 21 days of you being dismissed or forced to resign and can result reinstatement or, financial compensation of up to 26 weeks of wages.
In Australia, ‘General Protections’ are series of “protections” in the Fair Work Act 2009 designed to protect workers’ rights. General Protections will:
Adverse actions against an employee can include an employer:
General Protections Claims can be made while you are still employed and can stop your employer from terminating your employment if they have breached any of the above general protections provisions. General Protections Claims can also be made within 21 days of you being dismissed or forced to resign and can result in financial compensation for any loss and damage you have suffered as a result of the employers adverse action.
A lawyer can look at the circumstances of your employment termination and offer advice about the best course of action to take before you make an application to the Fair Work Commission.
Is your case clearly presented? We make sure to work out the best approach to take first as you may be entitled to more than you think. Our employment lawyers have an expert understanding of the law and legal principles and industry experience which gives us an advantage to get to the core issues quickly and effectively so we can get your claim moving.
Your best course of action is one of prevention. Gain an understanding of and implement company policies that will ensure you meet the terms and conditions of employment under the contract you provide them, the relevant Award or Enterprise Agreement applicable to your business, the National Employment Standards and the Fair Work Act 2009. This will help you avoid unfair dismissal and general protections claims being brought to you when dismissing employees and managing employees.
Seek legal advice from an employment lawyer if you’re unsure whether you are providing the right protections to your employees or if you find employee misconduct serious or repetitive enough to warrant a dismissal.
At PCL we give you more control over your proceedings with us. Some firms offer what is called a ‘no win, no fee’ service. This can result in a client losing control of how their money is spent – the time spent on their file and some influence as to when they can settle their case and under what terms.
Whilst in some cases ‘no win, no fee’, may be a good option it is not always the best and most cost-effective option. We at PCL Lawyers offer a service tailored specifically to your legal needs. We can assure you, that with us you will get what you need, when you need it.
Paying for a lawyer upfront keeps you firmly in the driver’s seat, and us accountable to you at all times for the costs and scope of works.
For more information or employment law advice, Contact one of our expert employment lawyers to discuss your unfair dismissal or general protections claim by calling us on 1300 907 335 or by completing an online enquiry form.
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