​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 |

What is unfair dismissal? - Frequently Asked Questions


​1. I have a casual job as a customer service assistant. For the last year I​​ have worked about ten hours per week. Recently, I have been getting fewer shifts. I haven't worked a shift for three weeks. I asked my employer about this and they said they can​​​'t give me any shifts. Have I been dismissed?

If you are a casual that works on a regular basis and you are no longer being given work, your employer may have dismissed you.

It is not always easy to work out whether you have been dismissed. If your employer tells you you're dismissed or that your employment has been terminated, there has been a dismissal. If your employment was only for a specific amount of time, a specific season or for a particular job, the end of your employment may not be a 'dismissal'.

If you think that you have been unfairly dismissed you should get legal advice as soon as possible.

For more information about when there has been a 'dismissal', see Was it a dismissal? For information on when casual employees can make an unfair dismissal application, see Are you a casual employee?

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2. I work as a factory storeman. During the mid year stock take I incorrectly recorded stock by accident. My employer fired me. I've d​one stock take for three years now and I've never made a mistake. Was my dismissal unfair?

Your employer should explain why they are considering terminating your employment, and give you a chance to respond to the issues raised before dismissing you. Making a minor mistake will not generally be considered a valid reason for dismissal. However, whether your dismissal was unfair will depend on the circumstances in your case (for example, your past work performance, the cost the mistake caused the employer and whether it is reasonable for a person in your position to make mistakes like this).

If you think that you have been unfairly dismissed you should get legal advice as soon as possible.

For more information see, Was it unfair?


3. I work on the checkout at my local grocery store. On Thursday when I cashed up at the end of my s​hift, my till was $200.00 short. My employer accused me of stealing the money, fired me, and told me I have to pay the money back. Can they fire me and do I have to pay the money?

A dismissal will be unfair if it was harsh, unjust or unreasonable.

If your employer believes you have stolen money it should give you a chance to respond to this allegation. If you would like to bring a support person to a meeting with your employer, you should ask them if this is possible.

If you think that you have been unfairly dismissed you should get legal advice as soon as possible. You may be able to make an unfair dismissal application to the Fair Work Commission (the Commission).

You should not give the employer any money until you have received legal advice.

Also, it is against the law for your employer to refuse to pay you your entitlements (such as annual leave or final pay) simply because there is missing or damaged stock.

For more information see, Was it unfair?

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4. My employer told me and two other employees in my team that they were making our positions re​​dundant. There were seven people in my team and the four people left are taking over the work we used to do. Can they do this?

If your employer is restructuring and transfers your work to other employees, or if your position is no longer needed, there may be a genuine redundancy.

Your employer will need to consider whether or not there is a position for you with another team or associated business before making your position redundant. They will also need to have a fair process for deciding which three employees in the team of seven are chosen for redundancy.

If you are not sure if your redundancy was genuine, you should get legal advice.

If your position is made redundant, you should receive any redundancy pay owed to you. Normally your redundancy entitlements can be found in:

  • your contract; or
  • your award or agreement.

If there is nothing in your contract, award or agreement, or if your employer has no internal written policies relating to the payment of redundancies, you are entitled to a redundancy payment under the National Employment Standards. For more information, see the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

If you have not received redundancy pay, or are not sure that you have received the correct amount of redundancy pay, you should get legal advice.

For more information, see Can a redundancy be an unfair dismissal?


5. Before I was fired, the place I worked at had ten full time employees and six casuals. Two of the casuals came in regularly and the​​ other four only came in occasionally when we were very short staffed. Is my employer a small business?

An employer is a small business if they have less than 15 employees. Each full time and part time employee is included, however casual employees will only be counted if they work on a 'regular and systematic' basis. If you are not sure if some casuals work regularly and systematically, you should get legal advice.

If you are employed by a small business, it is still possible to make an unfair dismissal claim. However, you will need to consider whether you have been employed for at least 12 months and whether your employer has followed the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code.

For more information, see Was your employer a small business? and How long have you been employed?


6. I was dismissed from my job last week. My employer is a small business with five employees, including me. I had been there for two years. They gave me no warnings. Can they do this?

If you were employed by a small business, they should have followed the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code (the 'Code').

According to the Code, you should have been given notice or a warning before you were dismissed, unless you did something that would be considered 'serious misconduct', for example, fraud or theft.

If you were dismissed because of your performance, you should have been given a warning about your performance and an opportunity to improve before you were dismissed. Warnings do not need to be in writing.

For more information about the Code, see Was your employer a small business?

For more information about unfairness, see Was it unfair?