​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Was it unfair?​​

​​Case study - CharlotteCase study icon

Charlotte worked as a shop assistant at her local department store. She had been there full-time for three years when she was told she would be sacked and was given two weeks notice. Charlotte hadn't been given any warnings and didn't know there was a problem with her performance.

​If you were dismissed from your employment and are thinking about making an unfair dismissal application, you need to work out whether the dismissal was unfair.

A dismissal will be unfair if it was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. For example it might have been unfair if:

  • you were dismissed for running a few minutes late on one occasion
  • you were dismissed for making a small mistake that was easily corrected (e.g. forgetting to attach a document to an email)
  • you were dismissed because stock went missing while you were working, but there was no evidence that you took the missing stock
  • a mistake was made by many staff members in an organisation, but you were the only employee that was dismissed
  • you were given more work than it was possible to complete and then dismissed for failing to meet deadlines
  • you were dismissed for a discriminatory reason, for example carer's responsibilities or your race or gender
  • you were not told why your employer was unhappy with your performance, or given a chance to work on solving any problems, but were dismissed for poor performance.

Alert Icon  If you were dismissed unfairly from your job, you may be able to make a number of different claims against your employer. If you haven't been dismissed but you are experiencing any workplace bullying, you may able to make a bullying claim in the Fair Work Commission.

Before you make any claims or applications, you should get legal advice to help you work out what is the right option for you.

What will the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) consider?

When deciding if your dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable, the Commission will consider the following:

  1. whether there was a valid reason for the dismissal
  2. whether you were told about that reason
  3. whether you were given an opportunity to respond to any allegations, claims of unsatisfactory performance or other issues raised by your employer
  4. whether your employer refused to let you have a support person to help you during any discussions about the dismissal (and whether their refusal was unreasonable in the circumstances)
  5. whether you were warned about unsatisfactory performance before you were dismissed (if the dismissal was about unsatisfactory performance)
  6. whether the size of the business affected the way you were dismissed
  7. whether there is a human resource officer in the employer's business (and if not, whether that affected the way you were dismissed)
  8. any other matters that the Commission considers relevant.

Alert Icon  What is harsh, unjust or unreasonable will depend on the circumstances of your case. If you are not sure whether your dismissal was unfair, you should get legal advice as soon as possible. If you want to make an unfair dismissal application to the Commission, you must do so within 21 days of the date you were dismissed.

Hint icon  Warnings do not need to be in writing and there is no minimum number of warnings that your employer needs to give you before dismissing you.

Serious misconduct and summary dismissal

If an employee seriously misbehaves (misconducts) themselves, their employer can dismiss them straight away. No notice or warnings will be required. This is called 'summary dismissal'.

Some examples of serious misconduct include:

  • theft
  • fraud
  • being intoxicated at work
  • assaulting employees, customers or other people in the workplace
  • serious breaches of occupational health and safety procedures.

If you were summarily dismissed, but you do not think you did anything that was serious misconduct, you should get legal advice.

For answers to commonly asked questions, see What is unfair dismissal? - Frequently Asked Questions.

 

 

 

 

Man working in a cafe, looking confused