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How Much Compensation Will You Get After Being Unfairly Dismissed?

How much compensation will you get after being unfairly dismissed?

Most workers end up with $2,000 to $8,000 compensation after being unfairly dismissed.

However, a handful are awarded more than $100,000, according to new figures released by the Fair Work Commission.

The amount of compensation you might receive depends on the circumstances of your dismissal.

Additionally, it depends and how you decide to take action against your employer.

Two common types of claims

There are a number of different types of claims you can make if you are unfairly dismissed from employment.

The two most common are:

You only get to choose one, and you must make the claim within 21-days of your dismissal.

To find out which claim is most appropriate to your circumstances, please contact Industrial Relations Claims.

Our team of experts will recommend your best option.

Unfair dismissal

Your dismissal is considered unfair if it:

  • was harsh, unjust or unreasonable, and
  • was not a case of genuine redundancy, and
  • if you were employed by a small business, your dismissal was not consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code.

To be eligible to make an unfair dismissal claim you must earn less than $148,700 from July 1 2019.

The maximum compensation the Fair Work Commission can order is six months of your wages.

However, most claims settle for much less than this.

Most claims settle at conciliation

Most unfair dismissal claims are resolved during conciliation.

A conciliation session is held between the parties before the matter reaches a full hearing.

According to its 2016-17 Annual Report, the Fair Work Commission dealt with 11,160 unfair dismissals through conciliation.  

Most claims settle for $6,000 or less

Most claims (4,792) resulted in a payment of $6,000 or less.

However, 32 cases involved between $40,000 and $70,000.

Below is the number of unfair dismissal cases and the amount of compensation each settled for during conciliation.

  • 553     – $0-$999
  • 1002   – $1,000-$1,999
  • 1893   – $2,000-$3,999
  • 1344   – $4,000-$5,999
  • 790     – $6,000-$7,999
  • 474     – $8,000-$9,999
  • 643    – $10,000-$14,999
  • 251     – $15,000-$19,999
  • 163     – $20,000-$29,999
  • 49      – $30,000-$39,999
  • 32      – $40,000-$71,000

The Commission dismissed 125 unfair dismissal applications, determining the dismissal fair.

In 160 cases, the Commission granted various forms of remedy for unfair dismissal.

The remedies involved:

  • monetary outcomes (135 matters)
  • reinstatement without compensation for lost remuneration (10 matters)
  • reinstatement plus compensation for lost remuneration (15 matters).

General protections provisions for unfair dismissal

Generally speaking, employees receive more compensation by filing a general protections dismissal claim.

However, to qualify for a general protections claim, your dismissal must meet certain criteria involving your workplace rights.

Your dismissal must have involved you exercising a protected workplace right.

For example:

  • asking about your pay or roster,
  • taking a sick day,
  • engaging in union activity,
  • making a complaint about discrimination or sexual harassment.

According to the Fair Work Commission Annual Report for 2016-17:

The number of general protections disputes involving dismissal numbered 3,729 – an increase of 14 percent from 2015-16.

The Commission resolved the majority at or after a conciliation conference.

Significant number result in payouts of more than $10,000

Most general provisions for dismissal claims resulted in the payment of between $2000 and $8,000.

However, a significant 147 cases resulted in a payout of between $10,000 and $15,000, with nine cases winning more than $100,000.

The table below shows the number of general protection claims, and the amount of compensation negotiated at mediation.

  • 146  – $0-$999
  • 190  – 1,000-$1,999
  • 323  – $2,000-$3,999
  • 229  – $4,000-$5,999
  • 128  – $6,000-$7,999
  • 69   – $8,000-$9,999
  • 147  – $10,000-$14,999
  • 81    – $15,000-$19,999
  • 64   – $20,000-$29,999
  • 29   – $30,000-$39,999
  • 9     –  $40,000-$49,999
  • 5      – 50,000-$59,999
  • 12    – $60,000-$69,999
  • 7      – $70,000-$79,999
  • 8     – $80,000-$89,999
  • 1      – $90,000-$99,999
  • 9    –  100,000+

The take home message

The take home message for employees who believe they have been unfairly dismissed is simple.

Seek urgent expert advice to ensure you maximise the compensation payout you deserve.


Please call our team at Industrial Relations on

1300 045 466

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