Dismissal
and redundancy

Dismissal or termination of employment happens when either your employment has been terminated by your employer, or you have been forced to resign your employment due to some action by your employer. Where such a dismissal or termination is unfair or unlawful, you have a number of options to protect your rights and pursue compensation for any damages suffered. If you believe that your dismissal is unfair or wrongful Maurice Blackburn can help you understand your rights and your legal options.

Unfair dismissal is different to wrongful dismissal. Unfair dismissal is concerned with whether a dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable and incorporates issues including employment type, award and enterprise agreement coverage, the provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code. Wrongful dismissal involves a breach of the employment contract and is a matter of common law. Dismissals may also be unlawful for other reasons, such as discrimination.

Redundancy is a form of termination involving a restructure – however the key is that the job is no longer to be performed by anyone. Redundancy entitlements may include statutory and contractual entitlements to notice, leave and redundancy pay, as well as any non-salary rights such as bonuses and share options.

If you are facing dismissal, contact us today to discuss how we can help.

Unfair dismissal or termination

Maurice Blackburn are the best choice for employees in unfair and unjust dismissal matters. Unfair dismissal and constructive dismissal can involve complex legal matters and need to be dealt with by experts. At Maurice Blackburn, our dedicated and highly experienced employment lawyers can assist and advise you on matters such as unfair dismissal applications, Fair Work Commission conferences and hearings, as well as claims for damages and compensation.

We can help you understand and decide on the best course of action to follow; including whether to pursue a claim for compensation for wrongful dismissal or breach of employment contract. Even if you are unable to make an unfair dismissal claim, you may be able to make an unlawful dismissal claim or a general protections claim. Our highly experienced employment lawyers will help you decide on and achieve the best solution for you.

If you are dealing with unfair dismissal we can help. Contact us today to discuss your case.

Wrongful dismissal

Wrongful dismissal or termination occurs when an employer terminates an employee without having the power to do so under the terms of the employment contract. If you have experienced or are facing a wrongful dismissal there are a number of possible remedies that Maurice Blackburn can help you achieve from seeking damages, to obtaining injunctions and even seeking reinstatement.

Two major remedies for wrongful dismissal or termination are specific performance of the contract (which requires the parties to abide by the contract) and compensation for loss and damage. In some cases it is also appropriate for an injunction to be sought to restrain a termination.

We are the experts in employment law and can help you achieve the best solution promptly and discretely.

Call us today to discuss how we can help you.

Redundancy entitlements

Redundancy can come as a significant shock – one which leaves many people feeling uncertain and vulnerable – and one which can be particularly difficult for senior and executive employees. If you have been made redundant, or been advised you might be made redundant, you should get prompt legal advice. Maurice Blackburn are the nationally recognised experts in employment law and will achieve the best result for you.

Redundancy is a complex area of law and it is important to have independent legal advice to ensure the legality of the redundancy itself and to safeguard your rights and entitlements. At Maurice Blackburn we are ideally positioned to ensure you receive all your statutory and contractual entitlements to notice, leave and redundancy pay, as well as rights such as bonuses and share options.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has offices in MelbourneSydneyBrisbaneAdelaide
Darwin and throughout Australia. However, we also service Perth and Western Australia.

If you are facing redundancy contact us today to discuss how we can ensure your entitlements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of dismissal?

A person is not considered to have been dismissed if they were employed under a contract for a specified period of time, specified task or for the duration of a specified season, and the employment was terminated at the end of the period, task or season. However, theFair Work Act 2009states that if a person was on a contract and the substantial purpose of the contract was to avoid obligations to not unfairly dismiss the employee then the employee is not precluded from making an unfair dismissal application.

An employee is not considered to be dismissed if they were on a training arrangement and the employment terminated at the end of the training arrangement.

A person is also not dismissed if they have been demoted unless the demotion involves a significant reduction in remuneration or duties.

What is constructive dismissal?

The Fair Work Act provides that a person has, in effect, been dismissed if they resigned from their employment but were forced to do so because of conduct, or a course of conduct, engaged in by their employer.   This is commonly known as constructive dismissal.  The definition of “Conduct” includes both an act and a failure to act, and includes situations  where:

  • the employee is effectively instructed to resign by the employer in the face of a threatened or impending dismissal, or
  • the employee quits their job in response to conduct by the employer which gives them no reasonable choice but to resign.

What is the difference between unfair dismissal and unlawful dismissal?

An employee who is unable to make an unfair dismissal claim may be able to make an unlawful dismissal claim or a general protections claim.  The employee will need to decide whether to make an unfair dismissal claim or an unlawful dismissal or general protections claim.

An unlawful termination or general protections claim does not look at whether a dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. Instead it looks at whether the reason, or one of the reasons for termination, was unlawful. An employee has 21 days from the date of termination to take an unlawful termination or general protections claim.

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Your initial consultation with our Executive Employment Lawyers is on a fixed fee. If your case proceeds we operate on an hourly rate.

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