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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 day you were dismissed will usually be either the last day you worked or when you were told you were dismissed (whichever is later). If you are not sure when you were dismissed you should get
legal advice urgently.
In very limited circumstances the Commission may accept late applications. Some examples of when the Commission may accept late applications include where:
Whether a late application will be accepted will depend on all the circumstances of your case. The Commission will also look at the strength of your case, as well as whether accepting the late application would cause unfairness to the employer.
You should not delay lodging your application simply because you haven't been able to get legal advice. It is possible to withdraw an unfair dismissal application. It is better to lodge it in time, rather than wait and then try to get an extension of time if your application is late.
If you think you have been unfairly dismissed, but your dismissal was more than 21 days ago, you should get
legal advice urgently.
Case Study - Charlotte
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.
Charlotte was on her way to the Commission to file her unfair dismissal application when she was in a car accident and had to go to hospital. Because of the accident, Charlotte did not file her application until 16 days after the day she was dismissed.
If you are not able to make an unfair dismissal application, you may still have rights under other laws.
You should get
legal advice to help you understand your options.
For a handy guide to all the requirements you have to meet to make an unfair dismissal application, see
Checklist: Making an unfair dismissal application.
For answers to commonly asked questions, see
Can you apply? - Frequently Asked Questions.