If your employment comes to an end before it legally should, or in circumstances that appear unfair or unjust, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal. Shine Lawyers' Employment Law team can assess the conduct of your employer, pursue a claim on your behalf and get you the outcome that is right for you.
A situation of unfair dismissal may arise if your employment has been terminated in circumstances that are harsh, unjust or unreasonable. Determining whether your termination was unfair can be a difficult legal exercise, and it is important to have a well-trained legal expert on your side.
Shine Lawyers can assess the circumstances of your termination, inform you of your rights, and help you bring a claim for unfair dismissal with the Fair Work Commission or the relevant State Industrial Relations Commission.
It is important to note that a strict 21-day time limit applies for unfair dismissal claims, so if you believe you have been unfairly let go, it is important to take immediate action.
Shine Lawyers: Protect your rights
Shine Lawyers' Employment Law Practice are dedicated to handling work-related disputes, and can provide you with clear and concise advice regarding your termination.
We appreciate that each case of unfair dismissal is unique. Through our initial consultation service, a specially trained solicitor can talk you through your legal options and recommend a course of action that is most suited to your particular case.
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Common questions about Unfair Dismissal Lawyers
If you wish to bring a claim for unfair dismissal, there are two criteria that you must first satisfy:
- Minimum employment period: First, you must be able to demonstrate you were employed by the employer who dismissed you for the relevant period of time. The length of this period depends on your type of employment.
For permanent employees, you must have six months of continuous employment prior to your termination. This is increased to twelve months if your employer is a small business (less than fifteen employees).
For casual employees, you must have six months of regular and systematic employment prior to your termination, or twelve months in the case of small business employers.
- High income threshold: To bring a claim for unfair dismissal, your annual income must fall below the ‘high income threshold’ unless you are covered by an award or enterprise agreement. The high income threshold is set under the Fair Work Act 2009 and increases each year on 1 July. As of 1 July 2017, employees are eligible to make an unfair dismissal claim if they earn under $142,000 per year.
When deciding whether you have been unfairly dismissed, the Fair Work Commission will consider a wide range of materials and evidence. Some of the key questions the Commission will ask include:
- Was there a valid reason for your dismissal? For a successful unfair dismissal claim, there must be no valid grounds for terminating your employment. One of our employment law specialists can assess your case and determine whether, at law, there were valid grounds for your dismissal.
- Were you given reasons for your termination? Your employer has a duty to inform you of the reasons for your termination, and must grant you an opportunity to respond prior to being dismissed. If your employer has not done this adequately, this may form grounds for an unfair dismissal claim.
- Was a support person present? For any meetings that may result in your dismissal, you are entitled to have a support person present. If your employer denies you this opportunity, this can result in an unfair dismissal.
- Were you warned of any unsatisfactory performance prior to your dismissal? If poor performance was the reason for your termination, your employer must give you reasonable warning of this, and provide you with sufficient time to improve your performance before your dismissal.
If your claim for unfair dismissal is successful, there are three remedies available:
- An award for compensation (not exceeding half the high income threshold);
- Reinstatement to your previous position, if considered appropriate in the circumstances; and
- Non-financial remedies such as a written statement of service.
The remedy you are awarded will depend on the circumstances of your case. Together, you and your lawyer can discuss what outcome is most suitable for your situation.
Yes, strict time limits do apply.
You have 21 days from the date of your termination to bring a claim for unfair dismissal. Only in exceptional circumstances will an application lodged outside this period be considered by the Fair Work Commission, so it is important you act quickly and seek legal advice as soon as possible.
If you believe you have a valid claim for unfair or unlawful termination, we offer a 30-minute initial consultation service for a highly competitive, fixed fee. One of our specialist employment lawyers will speak to you over the phone or in person to assess your claim. You will receive a memorandum of advice outlining the viability of your claim and what action you should take moving forward.
If you choose to pursue your claim with Shine Lawyers, we provide our employment law services on a No Win No Fee basis, so you don’t have to worry about out of pocket legal expenses. You will only be required to pay legal fees in the event of a successful outcome.
If you decide to bring your claim for unfair dismissal with Shine Lawyers, one of our expert workplace relations legal staff will be with you every step of the way to ensure you understand your legal options at each stage of the claims process.
Meet Shine Lawyers’ Employment Law team:
Will Barsby – National Special Counsel, Consumer Dispute Resolution
Will Barsby joined Shine Lawyers in 2011 and is their National General Manager for Consumer Disputes. He leads a team of highly engaged legal experts who specialise in helping every day Australians navigate their legal journeys. Will is driven by an unwavering commitment to his clients, and will go above and beyond to ensure every individual who employs Shine receives legal services of the highest calibre.
Christie Toy – Senior Solicitor
Christie Toy is a Senior Workplace Relations and Employment Law Solicitor. Christie is well-versed in all aspects of employment law and is able to provide strategic legal solutions that are tailored to the sensitive issues involved in employment law disputes.
Jack Donaghy – Solicitor
Jack Donaghy is a Solicitor with Shine Lawyers’ Employment Law Practice and is passionate about standing for the rights of employees who have been treated unfairly and unjustly. He holds a unique insight into the intricacies of employment law, and is able to deliver effective and practical solutions to his clients’ workplace disputes.
Shine Lawyers has been righting wrongs for everyday Australians for over 40 years. We are a law firm with a difference, and are proud to stand up for the rights of the little guy no matter the case at hand.
At Shine Lawyers, you will have your own go-to team who are always available to chat, and who understand the importance of explaining things in clear, plain language.
We provide our employment law claim services on a No Win No Fee Guarantee, meaning you won’t have to pay our legal costs unless we get you a successful outcome.
Hear from some of our clients below who have been through the claims process with us.
Shine Lawyers are expert workplace relations and employment lawyers that can help you get the desired outcome following a work-related dispute.
Click on the links below for more information about how Shine Lawyers can help.
Shine Lawyers have offices in the following locations.
New South Wales
- Gold Coast
- Hervey Bay
- North Lakes
- Stones Corner
- Sunshine Coast
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