Australian employment laws are quite tough, which means that employees are well protected against unfair dismissal. Basically, the law requires that an employer complies with the terms of your contract when terminating your employment. If a contract hasn’t been signed, there are a few umbrella rules that have to be followed.
On top of this, it’s illegal to fire someone based on their gender, race, ethnicity or any other discriminatory factor. Employers who fire someone in a way that could be considered discrimination could be subject to major legal action.
In the rest of this article, we’ve looked at some of the most popular forms of unfair dismissal and what you should do if your employment has been terminated illegally.
What Is Unfair Dismissal?
To put it simply, unfair dismissal refers to any situation when an employee feels that they’ve been unfairly released from employment or forced to resign due to their employers actions. All unfair dismissal cases are heard by the Fair Work Commission in Australia. Some of the most common example include:
- When you’ve been fired abruptly without serious consideration of the consequences. In recent years, a lot of unfair dismissal cases are centered on an employee’s social media conduct.
- If you’ve been fired due to poor performance or issues with your work that you weren’t aware of. A company needs to ensure you’re aware of problems and give you the opportunity to fix them before dismissing you.
- Dismissal due to racial or religious prejudices, although these claims often fall under discrimination laws.
In reality, there are no hard and fast laws governing what is and what isn’t an unfair dismissal. Every case is treated on an individual basis, and the chances of a satisfactory outcome will be significantly improved if you can show documentation or other evidence of your claim.
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Unfairly Dismissed?
If you feel like you’re a victim of unfair dismissal, there are a few things you should do. First, check out the Fairwork Australia website to determine whether you have a case or not. If you do, you can:
- Lodge an unfair dismissal application with the Australian Fair Work Commission.
- Access free legal advice (for eligible people).
- Speak to your own employment lawyer to determine whether you have a case worth pursuing.
As with all legal cases, it’s extremely important to ensure you have strong evidence and documentation of your employer’s wrongdoing. Once again, seek legal advice about gathering and presenting this evidence.
Unfair dismissals occur across Australia every single day. Unfortunately, many people don’t realise just how well they’re protected, and suffer as a result.
In reality, Australian unfair dismissal laws are tough, and there’s a strong chance of receiving some sort of compensation if you pursue the matter further. Head over to the Fair Work website, do some research, and determine whether you have a case. If so, seek legal advice and escalate the matter. Good luck!