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Unfair Dismissal

An unfair dismissal claim is a claim that your dismissal from your job was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. If eligible, you have 21 days from the date your dismissal took effect to file your claim.

If you have been dismissed from your job and you believe it was unfair, you may have grounds to make an unfair dismissal claim at the Fair Work Commission (FWC). If eligible, you have 21 days from the date your dismissal took effect to file your claim.

An unfair dismissal claim is a claim that your dismissal from your job was harsh, unjust or unreasonable.

You have been dismissed if:

  • your employment was terminated at the initiative of your employer; or
  • you resigned from your employment because you were forced to do so because of conduct, or a course of conduct engaged in by your employer; or
  • you were employed under a contract of employment for a specified period or time, task or season and you were terminated prior to the end of the contract.

You have not been dismissed if:

  • you were employed under a contract of employment for a specific period of time, task or season and your employment has terminated at the end of the period, season or completion of the task; or
  • you were employed for a specified period of time because of a training agreement and your employment was terminated at the end of the training arrangement; or
  • you were demoted in employment, but the demotion does not involve a significant reduction in remuneration or duties and you are still employed by the employer who demoted you.

Note: If your contract appears to be for a specific period but can be ended earlier by the giving of notice, then your contract may not be a genuine fixed term contract and you may be dismissed at your employer’s initiative if your contract is not renewed. If this applies to you, you should obtain legal advice as soon as possible.

A dismissal will not be an unfair dismissal if:

  • your employer was a small business employer and the dismissal was consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code; or
  • the dismissal was a case of genuine redundancy.

More information including minimum employment periods and how to make an unfair dismissal claim can be found in the attached fact sheet, which we recommend you download.

For further support

Call our Telephone Information Service on Melbourne Metro (03) 9662 1933 or Regional Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania on 1800 331 617.

Unfair Dismissal

Here’s a quick 44 second video giving a quick overview of what an unfair dismissal claim is, and how to know if your dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable.

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