Can a Casual Employee File Unfair Dismissal Claims – FAQs

When permanent employees make a claim for unfair dismissal, there are rules that support it. If they feel that they were unjustly let go or the dismissal was harsh, they will be able to make a claim for what they think is an unreasonable removal from their job. However, the rules for unfair dismissal for casual workers are not so clear. If you have casual employees, will they also be able to make a claim if they feel that they were unfairly discharged from their work?

There are specific rules that govern unfair dismissal. If you are an employer who needs to terminate the employment of a casual employee, here are some things you need to be aware of before you do:

Can a Casual Employee File Unfair Dismissal Claims? FAQs

Before you terminate an employee, you want to make sure that they will not be able to file unfair dismissal claims against your company. Aside from avoiding any unnecessary conflict and complications, you want to make sure that your employees are treated fairly, even up to the point when you will need to terminate their contract.

What is an unfair dismissal claim?

If an employee views their termination to be unfair, unjust or harsh, they may make an application to the Fair Work Commission to be reinstated. There are a few criteria which the employee must meet to be able to file their application successfully. 

Who is eligible to file an unfair dismissal claim?

This now brings us to who may be eligible to file an unfair dismissal claim. Not all employees will be able to file such a claim. Here are the eligibility criteria they must meet:

  1. They should have been employed for at least six months before the claim is made. This will be 12 months for small businesses.
  2. The employee’s remuneration must be below the high-income threshold of $153,600.

Note: Employees must make their claim within 21 days following their dismissal.

Can a casual employee file an unfair dismissal claim?

If you are letting a casual employee go, you may be wondering if they may be able to file an unfair dismissal claim. The answer is yes; however, there are limitations to this. A casual employee may be able to file a claim if they have regular work with your company. If they are not working on an on-call basis and have reason to believe that they will have ongoing work and employment, they may be eligible to apply for an unfair dismissal claim. Before their claim is officially lodged, the Fair Work Commission will first review their pattern of work. If the Fair Work Commission deems their claim valid, they may file.


This is why as an employer, you need to be extremely careful about how you terminate your employees. If they view their dismissal as unfair or unjust and they meet the eligibility criteria, they may be able to file a claim against you. 

If you have any questions or are facing an unfair dismissal claim from one of the casual employees you have let go, Workclaims Australia can help you! We are registered industrial agents equipped to deal with a range of national workplace relations issues. We provide legal advice, representing parties at all stages of the complaint process from raising a claim, mediation, hearing, tribunal or—in rare cases—going to court. Our own thorough knowledge of the Fair Work Act 2009 means we can advise you on the best way to approach your rights. Get the best employment lawyers in Perth on your side today!

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