What to Do When You’ve Been Unfairly Dismissed

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As an employee at a company, you may be dismissed from your place of work due to unsatisfactory performance or operational and financial issues that your employer may be experiencing. However, there are certain circumstances that may be considered unfair or wrongful dismissal. If you feel that you might have been unfairly dismissed from your place of work, read on to find out what steps you need to take next.

What is the first thing you should do?

The best thing to do if you live in Townsville would be to equip yourself with a lawyer who can walk you through the complex legal process and guarantee you favorable results. A lawyer will be able to:

  • Advise you on the process to follow to minimise risks
  • Advise you on any alternative to dismissal
  • Advise you on your entitlements as an employee
  • Represent you in court proceedings

What is an unfair dismissal?

Your dismissal may be classified as unfair if:

  • You were forced to resign from your position
  • Your dismissal was not a case of genuine redundancy
  • Your dismissal was harsh, unreasonable, or unjust
  • Your dismissal was not consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code (only if your employer was a small business owner)

It may not be considered an unfair dismissal if:

  • There was a genuine redundancy
  • Your dismissal was consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code (if your employer was a small business owner)

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) usually takes into consideration whether you were given prior notice or if you received warnings prior to termination and given an opportunity to respond, and whether you had performance issues during your tenure.

What can you do about it?

You’ll need to file a complaint to the Fair Work Commission (FWC). Here are some questions you’ll need to answer:

  • Have you worked for your employer for at least six months, or 12 months if your employer is a small business?
  • Have you been covered by an enterprise agreement or a modern award?
  • Have you earned less than the high-income threshold?

You can raise a claim by submitting an application form either online or by post. You need to lodge the application within 21 days from the day you were fired. This time-frame is extremely strict. If you fail to meet it, you’re required to seek a special leave from the FWC to be granted the right to file the claim beyond the deadline.

After successfully filing the complaint, the FWC will provide a copy of your application to your former employer who will be given the opportunity to either respond or object to the claims you made within seven days.

What happens next?

Employee packing files in cardboard box at desk in office

The FWC will set a date for a conciliation conference. This gives both you and your former employer an opportunity to resolve whatever issues you have by way of negotiation, with a legal representation present during this discussion. If a resolution isn’t reached, the FWC will hold a jurisdiction and arbitration conference. The commissioner will determine if your employer’s objects are valid and determine whether your dismissal was unfair.

If your employer fails to respond to the claim or if the FWC finds that your dismissal is unfair, you may be reinstated to your job, re-employed to a similar job at the same company, or you may receive compensation money.

If you think you’ve been unfairly dismissed, it’s important to seek legal help so you can get the compensation you deserve.


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