Workers who have been unfairly dismissed are losing thousands of dollars in compensation by making the wrong claim.
Industrial Relations Claims advises workers to seek urgent expert advice as soon as they have been dismissed from employment.
IR Claims Litigation Director, Miles Heffernan, says it can make a big difference to outcome of a claim, and the amount of settlement money a worker will receive.
“In some cases, it could be the difference between receiving a payout of $1,000, to one that is well over $10,000,” he said.
The Fair Work Act allows an employer to make one of a number of different types of claims if they are unfairly dismissed.
The most appropriate depends on the worker’s individual circumstances.
The two most common claims are:
Mr Heffernan said sacked workers often make the wrong choice.
For example, filing an unfair dismissal when they are eligible to make a general protections claim.
“Someone who has just lost their job is often understandably upset, emotional and stressed,” he said.
“And, as a result, they can rush into filing a claim in the Fair Work Commission that might seem like the best thing to do, however, it costs them in the long run.”
Unfair dismissal is when you are sacked in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner.
Harsh means your dismissal was disproportionate to the offence that you committed.
Unjust means your employer did not have a valid reason to sack you.
Unreasonable is when your employer acted unreasonably when dismissing you, or you were not given procedural fairness.
The maximum monetary settlement you can receive is 26-weeks pay.
If you earn less than $148,700 annually, and if you have been employed for more than six months (12-months for a small business), then you’re eligible to make a claim for unfair dismissal.
For more information about unfair dismissal, please click here.
Contravention of a General Protections Provision involving dismissal
Workers sacked for exercising a workplace right are eligible to make a general protections claim.
A workplace right includes things like making a complaint or inquiry about your working conditions.
For example, asking about your pay, or the hours that you work.
Another example is if you make a complaint about sexual harassment or some form of discrimination.
General protections claims generally result in larger compensation payouts, including damages for shock and distress.
In addition, a court or commission can impose uncapped penalties on your employer.
For more information about contraventions of a general protections involving dismissal, please click here.
Seek professional advice
To ensure you make the most appropriate claim, Mr Heffernan says to seek professional advice.
“Our expert team knows the most effective action to take for our clients, to ensure they achieve justice for their unfair dismissal,” he said.
Finally, workers unfairly dismissed have just 21-days from the date of termination to file a claim.
Please call our team at Industrial Relations Claims today on