Australian employment laws are quite strict, and they provide a strong level of protection against unfair dismissal. If you’ve been fired or otherwise let go from your job without good reason, you may be eligible to make an unfair dismissal claim against your former employer.
In successful cases, these can result in significant monetary payouts, so it’s worth pursuing if you feel you’ve been wronged. There are a few different options available to Australians who are the victim of unfair dismissal, and we’ve covered these in the rest of this article.
What Is Meant By Unfair Dismissal?
Before we go any further, let’s have a quick look at exactly what unfair dismissal is. In short, it’s whenever your employer terminates your employment in an unreasonable or unfair manner. For example:
- Being fired without reason or notification.
- Being fired for something unrelated to your job, such as a personal issue.
- Being fired for a performance-related issue without being given reasonable opportunity to address the issues.
If you’re a victim of an unfair dismissal, you will be able to make a claim or pursue further legal action.
What Do I Do if I’ve Been Unfairly Dismissed?
If you feel like you’ve been unfairly dismissed, you can make a claim to the Fair Work Commission, as long as a few conditions are met:
- You’ve been working for the company for at least six months, or twelve in the case of small businesses employing less than 15 people.
- You’ve earned below the high-income threshold or are covered by an award or enterprise agreement.
- It’s been less than 21 days since you were fired.
Lodging a claim is a fairly simple process that can be done through the Fair Work Australia website. Free legal aid is also available for those who are eligible, and there are numerous resources available to help you determine whether you actually have a case.
What Happens if My Unfair Dismissal Claim Is Successful?
If your unfair dismissal claim is successful, the Fair Work Commission can do one of two things:
- They can give you back your job or find you a job with a similar company. In this case, you may or may not be paid for the time you were off work.
- Provide monetary compensation which will vary on a case-by-case basis. This can extend to up to six months worth of employment or up to half of the high-income threshold.
Again, cases are treated on an individual basis, and the compensation you receive will depend on your situation.
Unfair dismissal is against the law in Australia. If you’ve been fired without good reason or in a harsh or unjust manner, you may be able to make a claim to the Fair Work Commission. Free legal aid is available for some people, but it could also be worth speaking with an employment lawyer if you feel you have a strong case.
After all, you have the potential to be awarded up to half a year of wages, which is far from insignificant!