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
- 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
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.