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What is an unfair dismissal?

An unfair dismissal happens when you are dismissed from your job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner.

Harsh means the dismissal was disproportionate to the offence that you committed.

Unjust means your employer did not have a valid reason to sack you.

Unreasonable is when your employer acted unreasonably during the dismissal, or did not give you procedural fairness.

An unfair dismissal also happens when it does not happen in accordance with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code, or if the dismissal is not a genuine redundancy.

You only have 21 days to file a claim

Strict time limits apply to unfair dismissal claims.

You have just 21 days from the date of your dismissal to file a claim.

If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed from employment, do not delay!

Who is eligible to make a claim for unfair dismissal?

You are eligible to make a claim for unfair dismissal:

1.  If you are covered by a modern award or an applicable enterprise agreement.

2.  If you earn less than $153,600 annually.

3.  If you have been employed for more than six months (12 months if you work for a small business).

How much compensation will you get?

Unfair dismissal claims are adjudicated by the Fair Work Commission.

When determining compensation, it takes a number of factors into account, including:

  • the circumstances of your dismissal, and
  • if you have managed to find other employment.

The maximum monetary settlement you can receive for an unfair dismissal is 26 weeks pay, although most cases settle for much less than this. 

Depending on your particular situation, we should be able to help you negotiate fair compensation to mitigate any losses you have suffered.


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