Since the passage of the Fair Work Act almost all employees who have more than six months’ service with an employer and who earn less than $136,700 per annum are protected from unfair dismissal. Turner Freeman’s employment lawyers are experts in advising employees of their rights on termination, and where appropriate, in bringing claims for unfair dismissal.
Losing your job can be a stressful time for you and your family. Being dismissed can also affect your capacity to obtain a new job.
Turner Freeman Lawyers are the experts in advising employees of their rights on termination, and where appropriate, assisting them in bringing claims for unfair dismissal.
Sometimes a person may still have rights to bring a claim for unfair dismissal even if they resigned their employment. This arises where a person, because of the conduct of their employer, is left with no other choice but to resign from their employment. Termination in this form is generally known as ‘constructive dismissal’. The most common example of constructive dismissal occurs where a person is told that unless they resign immediately, their employment will be terminated.
The unfair dismissal process
For people who are not employees of the WA state government (or its statutory authorities), the Fair Work Act allows employees to bring a claim for unfair dismissal if the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. To be eligible to apply you must meet the following criteria:
Have completed a minimum employment period of 6 months, or 12 months if your employer is a small business, and:
- be covered by an Award, an Enterprise Agreement or earning less than $136,700.00 per year.
- if you meet the above conditions, a claim for unfair dismissal must be lodged at the Fair Work Commission within 21 days of termination.
After a claim for unfair dismissal is commenced it will be referred to a conciliation conference. The aim of that conference is to resolve the matter without formal litigation, and without the need to expend substantial legal costs.
Under both the Fair Work Act and the Industrial Relations Act, the most that can be awarded by way of workers compensation is 26 weeks pay. Reinstatement may also be ordered although, in practice, this seldom happens.
The time periods in which a claim must be commenced are very small.
An unfair dismissal claim must be commenced within 21 days of the dismissal. It is important to obtain legal advice from our unfair dismissal lawyers soon after any potentially unfair termination of employment.