5 Tips for making an Unfair Dismissal Claim in Australia

Apr 27, 2020 Employment Law
Unfair Dismissal Claim in Australia

If you’re an Australian who feels like you’ve been fired without good reason, you may be able to make an unfair dismissal claim with the Fair Work Commission. In general, an unfair dismissal occurs when you’re fired without warning or reason, when you’re fired due to something unrelated to your job or workplace, or when you’re fired due to performance issues without being given an opportunity to resolve the problem.

However, making a claim can be slightly complicated, which means you need to be as prepared as possible before you start. In the rest of this article, we’ve covered our top five tips to maximise your chances of a successful claim.

  1. Speak to a Legal Professional

Generally, the first thing you should do is determine whether you have a strong case or not by speaking with a legal professional. Free legal advice is provided to eligible people through the Fair Work Australia website. Alternatively, you could speak to an experienced employment lawyer.

  1. Be Prepared to Settle

The vast majority of unfair dismissal claims in Australia are settled out of court, which means you should be prepared to negotiate with your former employer. Out of court settlements can include:

  • Financial payouts.
  • Reinstatement to your former position.
  • The return of property or other belongings.

Anything else you and your former employer agree on.

  1. Understand Your Rights

If you’re serious about going ahead with an unfair dismissal claim, you need to know exactly what your rights are and how you can leverage them to your best interest. The most important information can be found on the Australian Fair Work website, although a private lawyer will also be able to help you here.

  1. Provide Clear Documentation

You can maximise the chances of your claim being successful by ensuring you provide clear supporting documentation to back it up. Include reasoning as to why you believe you were unfairly dismissed, anything that shows your former employer’s claims to be false, and anything else you believe might be useful.

Again, it could be a good idea to speak with a professional here to ensure you maximise your chance of a successful outcome.

  1. Know Your Argument

If you and your employer aren’t able to reach a satisfactory agreement without a third-party, your claim will be heard by the Fair Work Commission. If it comes to this, it’s crucial that you know every aspect of your argument and are able to clearly relay it. If you can’t, the chances of a successful resolution will be significantly less.

Unfair dismissals can hurt. A lot. If you feel like you’ve been the victim of an unfair dismissal, you have 21 days to make a claim with the Fair Work Commission. Before you do so, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights and obligations, what’s involved with the process, and what other options you have. Speak to a lawyer or other legal professional if possible, and, if you can, try and settle amicably.