​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 |

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Employment rights

If you are an employ​ee you have certain rights​ and entitlements that relate to:

  • how you can be d​​​​ism​issed (sacked from your job)
  • what you should be paid.

This topic has information to help you understand your rights in employment.


    How do I choose?

    Alert iconIf you have been dismissed, your dismissal may have been unfair, or in breach of a general protection. If that is the case, you may be able to make a claim for either unfair dismissal or general protections dismissal. You cannot make both claims.

    You may even have other options such as a:

    • discrimination claim (if you have been discriminated against at work)
    • bullying claim (if you are experiencing any workplace bullying).

    You should get legal advice about your options.

    If you have been dismissed and you believe you haven't been paid all your wages of other entitlements by your employer, you can also make a claim against them. You can still make this claim even if you have started an unfair dismissal or general protections dismissal claim. You can also make a claim if you resigned or are still working for the employer.

    For information on the differences between an unfair dismissal claim, a general protections dismissal claim, and a claim for unpaid wages and entitlements, see How do I choose?

    Unfair dismissal

    Unfair dismissal is when you are dismissed from your job and the dismissal is harsh, unjust or unreasonable. A dismissal might be unfair if:

    • the reason you were dismissed was unfair or
    • the way you were dismissed was unfair.

    For more information, see Unfair dismissal.

    Alert icon  If you want to make an unfair dismissal application to the Fair Work Commission (the Commission), you must do so within 21 days of the date you were dismissed.

    The Commission may accept late applications, but usually only in exceptional cases.

    General protections dismissal

    A general protections dismissal can be when you are dismissed from your job as a result of:

    • discrimination
    • enquiring or complaining about your pay, entitlements or workplace conditions
    • being absent because you were sick
    • being involved in a union or union activities.  

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

    The Commission may accept late applications, but usually only in exceptional cases.

    Hint icon Sometimes general protections cases are called 'adverse action claims'. If your employer dismisses you for using or trying to use your rights, they have taken adverse action against you.

    For more information, see General protections dismissal.

    Wages and entitlements

    Employees may be entitled to a number of payments during employment and when they leave employment. This section is about:

    • what payments you may be entitled to as an employee
    • when those payments should be made
    • what you can do if your employer does not make those payments. 

    For more information, see Wages and entitlements.

    Alert icon If you want to make a claim for unpaid wages or entitlements you must do so within six years of when the payment should have been made. 

    Getting more help

    If you need help understanding your rights and entitlements, or 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.

    Finding employment law

    This section has information about how you can find out your correct pay, conditions and entitlements. It also has a link to the Fair Work Act, which is the law that covers national system employees.

    For more information, see Finding employment law.

     

    Last Updated: November 2021

    Picture of a person writing in a notebook at conciliation 

    COVID-19 Update

    If you need to file documents with the Court, Tribunal or Commission, you should contact them directly to see what options are available to you. You may be required to file the documents online, by post or in-person. 

    If you need to appear at the Court, Tribunal or Commission, you should contact them directly to see what options are available to you. You may be required to appear in person, by phone or Audio Visual Link (AVL).

    For more information, see Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates & advice on the Fair Work Commission website or COVID-19 updates on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website. 

    Further information 

    Fair Work Commission

    Fair Work Ombudsman

    Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia - Fair Work: Overview

    Federal Court of Australia - Employment & Industrial Relations

    Legal Aid NSW - Employment Problems: Spot the Signs

    Legal Aid NSW - I am being investigated at work - what are my rights?

    Legal Aid NSW - Working with Children Checks - Not happy with a decision?

    Legal Aid NSW - Your workplace rights during natural disasters and emergencies

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