Legal Guide

What To Do If You Feel You Have Been Unfairly Dismissed

While there are many reasons that you can rightfully be terminated from your job, there are also a lot of situations where a dismissal can be deemed to be unfair. Generally speaking, if your dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable, it was not a genuine redundancy case, or if you are employed by a small business, and your dismissal was not consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code, you could be looking at unfair dismissal.

If you were unfairly dismissed by your employer, or you feel that you were forced to resign from your job due to the actions of your employer, you may be able to be reinstated or receive compensation. Through the Fair Work Commission, you can submit an application to have your case investigated. As the Commission itself will not investigate your dismissal case, if a hearing goes ahead, you will need to provide evidence that your dismissal was unfair. However, before you reach this point, it’s important to understand the steps you should take if you feel you have been unfairly dismissed.

Continue reading to learn what you should do if you feel that you were unfairly dismissed by your employer.

Submit An Unfair Dismissal Application

It’s important to be aware, that an unfair dismissal application is a legal process and is not simply a complaint against your employer. With this in mind, you should be sure to follow the correct procedures when going through unfair dismissal procedures. An unfair dismissal form (Form F2) should be completed and submitted to the Fair Work Commission within twenty-one days of your dismissal.

The application will include details of your employment, your employer, the reason you think the dismissal was unfair, evidence of your dismissal and details of any representation you might have. The application can be submitted either online or in paper format with the accompanying $74.50 application fee.

Employer Response

After your application has been sent to the Registry, a section of the Commission, it will be given to a case manager who prepares the file for the Commission’s processes. Your employer will then be notified about the unfair dismissal claim, receiving a copy of your application from the Fair Work Commission. The employer must respond to the application within seven days, allowing them an opportunity to tell their side of the story. Your employer will be required to send their response both to the Commission and to you, the dismissed employee.

Commission Conciliation

Once the employer has responded to the application, a Commission conciliator will deal with the case. Their aim is to help you and your employer to resolve the matter without having to proceed to a formal hearing or conference. The Commission will notify both you and your former employer of the date and time of the conciliation conference in writing. Typically, the conciliation stage is conducted over the phone, although this is not always the case.

Formal Hearing

For those unfair dismissal cases that cannot be resolved via conciliation, a formal hearing or conference will be required to reach a final decision. In this instance, Member of the Commission will decide the outcome of your case and have the final say as to whether you will be successful with your application and reinstated in your job or receive compensation, or your dismissal will stand.

Take Action Quickly If You Have Been Unfairly Dismissed

If you feel that you have been unfairly dismissed, it’s important that you gather the necessary documentation, evidence and information you need to lodge your application as soon as possible. With twenty-one days to lodge your application, you need to ensure that you submit your application correctly, and on time, to avoid any delays to your unfair dismissal case. Once your application is submitted, you need to be patient and go through each step of the process until your case is decided, one way or the other.

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