Skip to main content

Unfair Dismissal

A fact of life is that, for most people, one has to be employed in order to pay for life’s necessities. For most, a good job is one with good pay and security. However, many employed people can find themselves in the position of having their employment terminated. This is always an unfortunate scenario, however in many cases, a dismissal from employment can be done in a way that is harsh, unjust or unfair.

Dismissal may be considered as harsh, unjust or unfair for the following reasons:

  • If there was not a valid reason for dismissal relating to the employee’s capacity or conduct;
  • If the employee is not notified of that reason;
  • If the employer refuses to allow the employee to have a support person present at any discussions relating to the dismissal;
  • If the employee was not warned about unsatisfactory performance before the dismissal; or
  • If the dismissal was not a genuine redundancy.

There are exceptions to the above, including serious misconduct that can result in summary dismissal, which includes theft, fraud, violence or a serious breach of occupational health and safety procedures. Further exemptions apply to those employees who have been employed for less than 12 months where the employer has less than 15 employees, and employees who have been employed for less than 6 months where the employer has 15 or more employees.

For anyone who believes they have been unfairly dismissed, an application can be made to the Fair Work Commission. This application must be done within 21 days of the dismissal.

If the Fair Work Commission is satisfied that an employee was unfairly dismissed, it may order that the employee be reinstated to their previous position, together with continuity of service and lost pay; or payment of compensation for lost wages if reinstatement is inappropriate.

If you have had your employment terminated, and think that it may be harsh, unjust or unfair, contact S+P Lawyers on 1300 277 000 without delay. Our solicitors are well experienced in dealing with employment disputes before the Fair Work Commission, and can guide you through the complex process of making an unfair dismissal application to the Fair Work Commission.

Our contact details are also on our website at