As a country, Australia has always been a nation of workers. We have some of the highest wages in the world and we have a legislation system that protects the rights of workers. While our country is far from perfect, the systems in place strive to protect employees when they have been wronged.
Unfair dismissal is an unfortunate reality that countless Australians face every day. Fortunately, though, we are in a position where it can be scrutinised and even overturned. Knowing your legal rights could save you extreme stress, financial pressure and hardship. Let the team at Dwyer Law Group educate you about unfair dismissal and your rights at work.
What Counts as Unfair Dismissal?
Unfair dismissal is when an employee is fired from their job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner. Basically, if an employer wants to fire an employee, then they must have a legitimate cause for doing so. If this reason is performance based, the employer is required to first issue a warning before any move to terminate an employee is made.
It should also be noted that you must have worked for a minimum of 6 months in a large business or 12 months in a small business to be considered for unfair dismissal. Deciding whether you have been dismissed unfairly can be a difficult task, with many different guidelines applying for companies of different sizes. That is why it is always best to consult a legal professional. They can examine your case and determine if your termination was unfair. Following this, your options may include reinstatement and compensation.
Act Fast if You Have Been Dismissed Unfairly
If you think you may have been sacked without cause, you must apply to the Fair Work Commission within 21 days of the dismissal date. If you apply later than this time period, you will be unable to apply for any compensation unless there are special circumstances to consider. It also essential that you start to gather information on your dismissal as soon as humanly possible. We recommend documentary evidence and witness details be obtained, if possible, before the dismissal is in effect. This is because your employer will most likely delete incriminating information, especially if it is on shared work computers. You should also remember that there is no right to privacy if personal emails and other information that s stored on company computers. Please also be aware that your boss will likely look at any social media posts that are not private posts.
According to the Fair Work Act of 2009, the preferred method of compensation in a successful unfair dismissal case is the reinstatement of the employee they including back pay. In these cases, the employee would be restored to their previous position and paid for the time they were out of work.
However, this is simply not realistic for the large majority of cases and compensation is instead paid out. The maximum compensation you can receive from your former employee is 6 months of pay, capped at $69,450.
If you think you have been dismissed unfairly, act now. Contact Dwyer Law Group to discuss your options for Fair Work compensation and to determine your eligibility.