Breach of employment contract/wrongful dismissal

Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employer terminates an employee without having the power to do so under the terms of the contract. An action for breach of contract for wrongful dismissal is available where:

  • an employer terminates an employee without complying with the notice provisions in the contract of employment
  • an employer terminates a fixed-term employee before the end of the contract
  • an employer terminates an employee on the basis of serious misconduct, without having reasonable grounds to do so, or
  • an employer repudiates the contract through its conduct, including fundamentally breaching the duty to maintain trust and confidence in the employment relationship, and brings the contract to an end unlawfully.

The remedy for breach of contract can include the awarding of damages for wrongful dismissal and in very rare cases reinstatement. In some cases an injunction can be sought to restrain the termination.

What is the difference between wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal?

Wrongful dismissal is different to unfair dismissal.

Wrongful dismissal is based on the common law, and involves a breach of the employment contract.

'Unfair dismissal' describes a right of action that employees may have under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or similar state legislation. This section focuses on wrongful dismissal. Click here for more information on unfair dismissal.

 

Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employer terminates an employee without having the power to do so under the terms of the contract. An action for breach of contract for wrongful dismissal is available where:
• an employer terminates an employee without complying with the notice provisions in the contract of employment;
• an employer terminates a fixed-term employee before the end of the contract;
• an employer terminates an employee on the basis of serious misconduct, without having reasonable grounds to do so.
• an employer repudiates the contract through its conduct, including fundamentally breaching the duty to maintain trust and confidence in the employment relationship, and brings the contract to an end unlawfully.
The remedy for breach of contract can include the awarding of damages for wrongful dismissal and in very rare cases reinstatement. In some cases an injunction can be sought to restrain the termination.
What is the difference between wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal?
Wrongful dismissal is different to unfair dismissal.
Wrongful dismissal is based on the common law, and involves a breach of the employment contract.
'Unfair dismissal' describes a right of action that employees may have under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or similar state legislation. This section focuses on wrongful dismissal. Click here for more information on unfair dismissal.