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What is an unfair dismissal?

An unfair dismissal happens when you fire an employee in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner.

Harsh means your decision to sack them was disproportionate to the offence that they committed.

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

Unreasonable means you acted unreasonably when dismissing your employee, or you did not give them procedural fairness.

It is also considered an unfair dismissal if you make an employee redundant when it is not a genuine redundancy.

A dismissal can also be considered unfair if you are a small business (less than 15 employees) and you didn’t follow the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code.

What is the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code?

Get advice before you act

The best way to avoid a claim for unfair dismissal is to get professional advice before you sack an employee, and even before you commence any disciplinary process or workplace investigation that could result in a worker losing their job.

Our expert team at Employwise can guide you through the steps you need to take to reduce the chances of a successful claim for unfair dismissal being brought against you, by either:

  • conducting an independent investigation into allegations of serious misconduct by staff on your behalf, and providing you with a detailed report and advice on how to proceed with the matter; or,
  • helping you performance manage a difficult employee to ensure they have a smooth and uneventful exit from your business.

The Fair Work Commission

Unfair dismissal claims are adjudicated by the Fair Work Commission.

Before your matter reaches a formal hearing, the Commission will invite you to participate in a conciliation session with your former employee.

The hope is that you will be able to resolve the matter between yourselves, whether that involves you making a payment of compensation, or agreeing to reinstatement the worker, or even offering an apology.

Our team at Employwise has extensive experience advocating for employers in these mediation sessions, and can advise you of your best options, and help you achieve a successful outcome.

If you are defending an unfair dismissal claim in the Fair Work Commission, let our experienced advocates take the stress off you, by taking over all negotiations and advocating on your behalf.

The sooner you contact us, the better

If your former employee’s unfair dismissal claim is successful, it could end up costing your business thousands of dollars in compensation and unnecessary legal fees.

The sooner our expert team at Employwise can get involved to assist you with your matter, the better chance we have of achieving the outcome you want, so don’t delay.

If you are defending an unfair dismissal claim, we can help.

Please call our specialist team at Employwise today on

1800 00 WISE (1800 00 9473)

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