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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself - LawAssist

General protections dismissal

This topic has information about making a general protections application after you have been dismissed from your job. It can help you if:

  • you are covered by laws about general protections
  • you have been dismissed from your job
  • you want to make a general protections dismissal application against your employer
  • you want your job back (reinstatement), compensation or an order that your employer be fined.

Alert IconIf you want to make a general protections application to the Commission, you must do so within 21 days of the date you were dismissed.

What are general protections?

Under the Fair Work Act, employees have rights called 'General protections'. These include:

  • the right to correct pay, leave and other entitlements
  • the right to be in a union and take part in union activity (or to not do this)
  • the right to take time off work if you are sick or injured
  • the right not to be discriminated against according to State or Federal anti-discrimination laws
  • the right to make a complaint or enquiry about workplace conditions
  • the right to the benefit of an industrial law or instrument (such as an award, enterprise agreement, workplace safety law).

If someone dismisses you for using or trying to use these rights, it may be possible to apply to the Commission) for help.

Alert IconThis topic only deals with dismissals. However, it is possible to make a general protections application even if you have not been dismissed. If you are being treated badly at work for using or trying to use your rights, you should get legal advice straight away.

Handy hint iconSometimes general protections cases are called "adverse action claims." Dismissal is one type of "adverse action." If your employer dismisses you for using or trying to use your rights, or for a discriminatory reason (for example, your race, gender, disability), they have taken adverse action against you.

For more information, see What are general protections?

Who can apply?

To apply you must be covered by laws about general protections. Most people that work for private businesses are covered. If you are a public servant employed by a State or local government, you may not be covered.

This section has information about:

  • who is covered by laws about general protections
  • time limits.

To find out if you are covered see Can you apply?

Alert IconIf laws about general protections do not cover you, you may be able to make a different sort of claim. You should get legal advice to help you work out what is the best option for you.

Going to the Fair Work Commission

This section has information about how to make a general protections dismissal application to the Commission and what happens after you apply. It covers:

  • how to make an application
  • the conciliation process
  • arbitration
  • settlement.

For more information, see Going to the Fair Work Commission.

Going to the Federal Circuit Court

This section has information about going to the Federal Circuit Court. It covers:

  • making an application
  • hearings
  • decisions the Federal Circuit Court can make
  • orders for costs.

Alert IconOn 12 April 2013 the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia became the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. If you applied to the Federal Magistrates Court before this date, your case will continue in the Federal Circuit Court.

For more information, see Going to the Federal Circuit Court.

After the case

This section has information about steps you can take after you have settled the dispute with your employer, or the Federal Circuit Court has made a decision in your case. It has information about:

  • enforcing agreements
  • enforcing orders
  • getting permission (seeking leave) to appeal.

For more information, see After the case.

Flowcharts

These flowcharts show you an overview of the different steps you can take if you are making a general protections application.

For more information, see General protections dismissal flowcharts.

Interactive guides

These interactive guides take you through the process of making a general protections application.

For more information, see Interactive guides for general protections dismissal.

Who's who at court

This section shows you what the room can look like, who the different people are, and where you should sit, when you go to the Federal Circuit Court for a hearing.

For more information, see Who's who in court.

Forms

This section lists the forms and documents you may need to prepare for your case. It also has instructions and samples to help you complete these forms and documents.

For more information, see Forms - General protections dismissal.

Getting more help

If you have been dismissed from your job, there are some services that may be able to help you.

For more information, see Getting more help.

Alert IconYou should getlegal adviceif you have been dismissed or are having problems at work. You may have other options, such as:

  • unfair dismissal claim if you were dismissed (for more information, see Unfair dismissal)
  • discrimination claim (if you have been discriminated against at work)
  • bullying claim (if you have not been dismissed but are experiencing workplace bullying).

The information in this topic was last updated: January 2014.

People talking at a conciliation of a general protections dismissal in Fair Work Australia​ 
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