Losing your job on a regular day let alone in the current climate can be an incredibly traumatic experience for anyone. If you have found yourself at the receiving end of termination and are puzzled as to why you were dismissed, you may be someone who has found themselves a victim of unfair dismissal. So…what can you do about being unfairly dismissed? Well, in today’s article, we have a step-by-step look at how you can handle an unfair dismissal.
Read on to find out more
Figure Out Your Eligibility
The first and most important thing to consider is if you are eligible for an unfair dismissal claim. One of the prerequisites for filing such a claim requires you to have been an employee of at least 6 months prior to your termination. If you have been working for a small business, that duration goes up to 12 months. Unfortunately, if you haven’t been employed for that period of time, you will not qualify to file a claim against your previous employer.
Another thing that is important to note is that you have to file your claim within 21 days from the official date of your termination. Any claims made after this period of time may result in an unsuccessful application and outcome for your individual situation.
Why Are Small Businesses Different?
So, you may be wondering why small businesses have different standards when it comes to unfair dismissal. Generally, small businesses do not have access to as many resources as larger businesses do, thus streamlining the process when it comes to legally terminating an employee. If the business you worked for employs fewer than 15 staff, it is automatically considered a small business.
Evidence Of Unfair Dismissal
If you have been unfairly dismissed, in most cases your situation would fall into one of the following categories:
- Breach of employment contract – Employment contracts and agreements that are both implied and written are taken into consideration when it comes to a breach of the employment contract. Since each employment contract is unique, it is important that you study your contract thoroughly and with the help of a lawyer in order to ensure that you have truly been unfairly dismissed.
- Discrimination: If you have been terminated for discriminatory reasons such as race, gender, sexuality, religion, or political beliefs, you may be eligible for an unfair dismissal claim.
- Harassment: Workplace harassment includes offensive behaviors, remarks, or actions made against an employee based on factors such as sexuality, political beliefs, race, gender, religion, nationality, age, or disability.
- Retaliation: Being terminated as a form of punishment for reporting unlawful activities within the business.
Lawful Reasons For Termination
Do keep in mind that there are a number of lawful reasons behind the termination of an employment contract, including serious misconduct such as theft, fraud, violence, and safety breaches. In such situations, it does not matter if actual criminal charges or convictions are made, so long as an employer has reasonable grounds for believing that a staff member engaged in serious misconduct.
Lodging Your Application
If you and your lawyer think that you qualify for an unfair dismissal claim, the next step is to lodge your complaint with Fair Work. Your ex-employer will be given the chance to respond to your claim, but if mediation is something that turns out to be unsuccessful, your application will be considered in a future hearing with the Commission.
If ruled in your favor, you may be able to return to your job if you wish, receive monetary compensation, and/or a positive reference from your previous employer.
Being unfairly terminated is never a pleasant experience for anyone — we hope that this article has given you the insight that you need when it comes to filing your unfair dismissal claim. All the best!