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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.
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:
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.
When deciding if your dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable, the Commission will consider the following:
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.
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.
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:
If you were summarily dismissed, but you do not think you did anything that was serious misconduct, you should get
For answers to commonly asked questions, see
What is unfair dismissal? - Frequently Asked Questions.