Wrongful Termination in Australia: What You Need to Know

Have you been fired unfairly from your job? Or have you been compelled to leave the office by your employer? In this case, you can apply for unfair dismissal to help you get the compensation you deserve. However, before you do so, there are things to know first. 

How to Go Against Unfair Employment Termination

There are two ways to challenge an unfair termination of employment in Australia: 

  1. Where there has been a breach of contract
  2. The worker can make a statutory claim for unfair dismissal in the Fair Work Commission or one of the State Industrial Commissions

A statutory claim is the fastest and most cost-effective way to use for unfair termination of employment in Australia. 

The Qualifications

You need to qualify to be able to apply for an unfair dismissal claim under the Fair Work Commission. In this case, you need to be an employee of a national system employer, which involves private enterprise employers and Commonwealth authorities. Keep in mind that state and local government employers don’t fall under this category. 

Furthermore, you will be protected by the FW Act if you: 

  • Completed a minimum period of employment (six months) or where you worked for a small business employer for 12 months
  • Are covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement or earns less than the high-income threshold
  • Are a casual employee, and you have worked on a regular basis with a reasonable expectation of ongoing work 
  • Have been dismissed, forced to resign or significantly demoted 

The Fair Work Help

If you are eligible to apply for unfair dismissal under the FW Act, Fair Work Australia can order the employer to give back your job with back pay. They can also order the employer to pay remuneration for six months. 

The Application

You only have 21 days to apply to the Fair Work Commission at the time of the dismissal. Within that period, the employer will also be provided 21 days to respond against the claim. 

The Fair Reasons for Dismissal

There are five fair reasons for dismissal that you also need to be aware of before you apply for unfair dismissal: 

  • Employee’s conduct that may be labeled as misconduct or serious misconduct
  • Inability to perform the role requirements
  • Unsatisfactory performance where the employee has been warned and notified about it prior to dismissal
  • Genuine redundancy
  • Fixed-term contract expiration

The Court

Many employees question if they can take their employer to court. This is possible if the dismissal doesn’t have a valid reason or the process to dismiss you was not done properly. 


It’s crucial to get legal advice when you think you’re a victim of unfair dismissal. Legal professionals will be able to help you through the process and ensure you get the right compensation. Furthermore, they will assess the case and develop a specific strategy to ensure you get the best outcome. Many agencies specialise in unfair dismissals. You only need to take time to find the right one that you will be comfortable with and will suit your needs. 

Are you a victim of wrongful termination in WA, Australia or unsure if you are? Workclaims Australia offers legal advice to help you with your claim. Contact us today to learn more!

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