Unfair Dismissal Lawyers

1. Have you been dismissed from employment?

If you have been dismissed you may have a claim against your employer, if your employer has breached your contract of employment or broken the law in dismissing you.

If your employer has broken the law in dismissing you, you may be able to make a claim under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

With offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, our unfair dismissal lawyers can assist you if you think you have an unfair dismissal claim against your employer.

2. Am I eligible to make an unfair dismissal claim?

In order to make a claim you must fall within the scope of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) which means that you must:

  • Be covered by a modern award;
  • Be subject to an enterprise agreement; or
  • Have a salary that does not exceed the maximum income threshold (currently $123,300.00).

You must also be an employee who has been employed for more than 6 months, or more than 12 months if your employer has fewer than 15 employees.

Our lawyers can assist you in determining whether you are a national system employee. We can also assess whether your employment is covered by a modern award or under the maximum income threshold as a result of your salary package structure.

If, at the time you were dismissed, your employee employed fewer than 15 people (including yourself) then the rules governing unfair dismissal are different. Your employer must have complied with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code. If the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code has been complied with, you are excluded from making an unfair dismissal claim.

If your employer claims you were dismissed because of redundancy and the Fair Work Commission finds your dismissal was a case of genuine redundancy, you are not able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. A person's dismissal was not a case of genuine redundancy if it would have been reasonable for you person to be redeployed within the employer's business.

It is a case of genuine redundancy if:

  • Your employer no longer required your job to be performed because of operational changes; and
  • Your employer has complied with any obligation in a modern award or enterprise agreement to consult about the redundancy.

These exclusions are complicated by any periods of casual employment as well as the specific requirements placed on employers by the Fair Work System.

Our unfair dismissal lawyers in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane can assist you in determining whether you are eligible to make an application for unfair dismissal or if the redundancy is likely to be a genuine redundancy.

3. What if I resigned from employment?

If you have been forced to resign, it may still be considered a dismissal. This situation is commonly known as constructive dismissal. An unfair dismissal can include a situation where a person has resigned but was forced to do so because of conduct, or a course of conduct, engaged in by his or her employer. It is not advisable to resign from employment prior to speaking with an unfair dismissal lawyer as the impact of your resignation will have an effect on your unfair dismissal claim.

If you have been dismissed, please contact our unfair dismissal lawyers in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne for assistance.

4. Don’t delay; strict time limits apply to FWC matters.

An employee has only 21 days after the date of the dismissal to make a claim for unfair dismissal. Only in very exceptional circumstances can this time be extended. It is vital to see an unfair dismissal lawyer as soon as possible after your dismissal takes place.

5. Is my dismissal unfair?

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) lays down the considerations in deciding if a dismissal was unfair. The Fair Work Commission will determine:

  • whether there was a valid reason for the dismissal;
  • whether you were notified of that reason;
  • whether you were able to respond to the reasons given for your dismissal;
  • Whether your employer was unreasonable in refusing you a support person;
  • If your dismissal related to poor performance, whether you had received previous warnings about this;
  • The impact of the size of the business in carrying out the dismissal;
  • Whether your employer had human resources support in carrying out the dismissal; and
  • Any other matters that the Fair Work Commission considers relevant.

Our unfair dismissal lawyers in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane can provide you with an assessment of your case considering these criteria before lodging an unfair dismissal claim for you.

6. What if my claim is successful?

If your unfair dismissal claim is successful you may be reinstated to your job, or awarded compensation not exceeding 26 weeks pay.

In making an award of compensation for unfair dismissal, the Fair Work Commission will consider the circumstances of the dismissal, including any contribution you may have had to your own dismissal and any success in returning to the workforce.

There is no remedy available for shock, distress or humiliation caused to you by the unfair dismissal. The Fair Work Commission will also consider any previous payments provided to the employee.

7. What if my claim is unsuccessful?

If your unfair dismissal claim is unsuccessful, you will not ordinarily suffer any adverse consequence in relation to the employer’s legal costs of defending the application. In some extreme and unlikely circumstances, costs have been award where the application was frivolous, vexatious or made without reasonable cause or had no reasonable prospect of success.

It is important that you seek legal advice prior to lodging a claim with the Fair Work Commission. Our unfair dismissal lawyers in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane can provide you with an assessment of your case.

8. What is the difference between unfair dismissal and unlawful dismissal?

Employees who are ineligible to make an unfair dismissal claim may be able to make an unlawful dismissal claim which otherwise known as a general protection claim. Unlawful termination and general protection claims do not consider whether a dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable, but instead consider whether the reason for the termination was unlawful. An unlawful termination or general protections claim relating to dismissal must be made within 21 days from the date of termination.

9. Why should I engage Berrigan Doube Lawyers?

Berrigan Doube Lawyers is a boutique law firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. We have been helping employees in the area of unfair dismissal and unlawful dismissal for well over 80 years and have a formidable reputation in this field of law. Almost 100% of cases accepted by Berrigan Doube Lawyers result in either a settlement or a favourable decision from Fair Work Australia.

One significant point of difference between Berrigan Doube Lawyers and other law firms is that we will ordinarily take on your case and represent you at the Fair Work Commission on a “no win, no fee” basis which means you will not be out of pocket if you choose to take action against your formal employer. We can do this because we have a team of lawyers that work on unfair dismissals and unlawful dismissals on a full time basis across all our offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and our level of expertise is unsurpassed in Australia.

If you think you have been unfairly dismissed or you would like advice about your eligibility to make an unfair dismissal claim, you should contact the Unfair Dismissal Lawyers at Berrigan Doube immediately. Do not delay as you only have 21 days after the date of termination of employment to make a claim for unfair dismissal.