An employee who has been dismissed from their employment in circumstances which are harsh, unjust, or unreasonable may be entitled to relief from Fair Work Australia for unfair dismissal. To assess whether a dismissal is harsh, unjust or unreasonable, Fair Work Australia will consider factors including the reasons for the dismissal, the conduct of the employer including whether any warnings were issued, and any other matters it considers relevant. While most employees are covered by the unfair dismissal provisions in the Fair Work Act 2014, certain employees will not be entitled to claim unfair dismissal.
An application relating to unfair dismissal must be filed within 14 days of the termination of employment, so it is important to seek legal advice immediately. ‘Dismissal’ may include demotion, or being forced to resign by some conduct engaged in by an employer.
A case of genuine redundancy will not qualify as an unfair dismissal. An employee who can prove that their dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable will be entitled to be reinstated to their position or another position on terms no less favourable than those on which the person was employed immediately before the dismissal. The employee may also be entitled to payment of remuneration lost because of the dismissal. It is possible to obtain an order for compensation in lieu of reinstatement, if Fair Work Australia considers that reinstatement is inappropriate, and that an order for compensation is appropriate in all the circumstances of the case.
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