Can You File for Unlawful Dismissal – Here’s What to Know

Do you think you’re a victim of an unlawful dismissal? Perhaps, you were wrongfully terminated, but you’re not sure how to go about this. In this post, we will talk about some of the most common scenarios of unlawful dismissal to help you determine whether you have a case or not. 

You Got Fired After You Exercise a Workplace Right

If you think you’ve been terminated because you exercised a workplace right, then you have a case. An employer who does this breaches the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009. 

Here are some examples of situations where it is unlawful to fire an employee:

  • If an employee complains about their employment
  • If the employee asks about their employment
  • If the employee takes the benefit of any lawful entitle, like sick leaves, maternity leaves, etc
  • If the employee files or expresses an intention to file a workers’ compensation claim
  • If the employee files or expresses an intention to file a bullying complaint with the Fair Work Commission
  • If the employee files a complaint to the Australian Taxation Office regarding unpaid super or incorrect tax deductions
  • If the employee is a member of a union

You Got Fired Due to Redundancy

Many employees are terminated for an alleged redundancy. However, many cases don’t appear to be real. A redundancy is not genuine if any of these are present: 

  • If the employee could have been offered work elsewhere within the company
  • If the employee is covered by modern award on an enterprise bargaining agreement
  • If the employee’s job is still required to be performed by someone

You Got Fired Due to Discrimination

It is unlawful to fire an employee for any discrimination grounds. These grounds include: 

  • Race
  • Colour
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Physical/mental disability
  • Marital status
  • Pregnancy
  • Religion
  • Political opinion
  • Nationality
  • Social origin

You Got Fired Due to Poor Performance

An employee must be provided with a reasonable opportunity to improve before they are dismissed due to poor performance. If you think you are terminated due to poor performance and you weren’t given an opportunity to improve, you have a case against your employer. 

Moreover, here are some situations where you can file an unfair dismissal claim: 

  • You didn’t receive proper training
  • Your employer didn’t explain what’s lacking in your performance
  • Your employer didn’t give you enough time to improve
  • You weren’t warned that termination is a possibility if your performance doesn’t improve

You Got Fired for No Reason

You will be surprised that there are many cases wherein employees were fired for no reason at all. If you think there’s no reason behind your termination, then you have a right to file a case against your employer. 

You Got Fired Without Due Process

You could file an unfair dismissal claim if you were fired without the employer following the proper process. 


If you think you’re a victim of unfair dismissal in the workplace, know that you have the right to file a case against the employer. You deserve to get the compensation you deserve. With this, you need to have the right people with you to help you win this legal battle. 

Looking for unlawful termination lawyers? Workclaims Australia deals with a range of national workplace-related issues. Get in touch with us today!

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