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If you think you haven't been paid:
you may want to talk to your employer or send them a letter of demand. Your employer may not have realised that they paid you the wrong amount.
If you ask to be paid your entitlements and you are dismissed (sacked) or asked to resign, you may be able to make an application to the Fair Work Commission that your dismissal was in breach of a general protection, or that your dismissal was unfair. For more information, see:
You should get
legal advice if you are dismissed. Any general protections dismissal or unfair dismissal application to the Fair Work Commission should be made 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).
Talking to your employer can be a quick way to work out if you are owed anything and how much. It can save you both the time and cost of going to court.
You can consider contacting your employer by telephone or arranging a time to meet them in person.
You may want to consider taking a support person with you to the meeting. For example, if you are member of a union, you could ask the union representative to come with you. Your employer should not unreasonably refuse this request.
Before you talk to your employer, make sure you are clear about what you think your entitlements are.
You should spend some time preparing your thoughts and your supporting documents. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to talk to your employer.
Some of the supporting documents you could bring with you include:
You could ask your employer to explain to you how your pay and other entitlements are worked out. If you think they are wrong, you can then explain why you believe you are entitled to more.
If you are still working for your employer and your employer agrees to pay you the full entitlements you are asking for, you may not need to put your agreement in writing. This is because no further action would be necessary and there was no compromise between the parties.
You should get
legal advice if your employer is offering to pay you a lower amount or wants you to sign an agreement.
If you were dismissed, made redundant, or resigned, and you are claiming unpaid entitlements, your employer may want you to enter into an agreement that releases them from any further claim by you. For example, your employer may agree to pay you some or all of your entitlements if you agree in writing not to make a claim against them related to being dismissed.
A document that releases both or either of you and your employer from other claims is often called a 'deed of settlement and release' or a 'deed of release'.
You should get
legal advice about the terms of any agreement with your employer.
You can both sign and date the agreement. Don't forget to make a copy of the agreement for your own records. Having a written agreement is helpful if you later need to enforce the agreement in court. For more information about enforcing agreements, see
Sample: To see what a completed deed of release could look like, see
Sample deed of release.
You should get
legal advice before signing an agreement or deed of release. You may be signing away other rights you have.
For more information on what to put in a settlement agreement, see
Reading and writing legal documents.
If your employer still has not paid you after you told them that you are owed wages or entitlements, you can try writing a letter of demand.
Writing to your employer may avoid the need to go to court and can save you time and money.
If you start a court case, the court may want to know what steps you have taken (if any) to try and resolve the issue before going to court.
A letter of demand is a letter to your employer outlining what you think your entitlements are, how much you think you are owed and when you would like to be paid. It is a good idea to send your letter of demand by registered post. Don't forget to keep a copy of the letter for your own records.
There is no set format for writing a letter of demand.
Sample: To see what a completed letter of demand could look like, see
Sample letter of demand.