When someone loses their job due to what they believe to be an unfair action by their employer, they have a right to raise a claim before the Courts. However, before raising the claim it is important to understand the many avenues available for making such a claim. While most people believe their action lies with filing an unfair dismissal claim, this isn’t the only route to compensation for having been dismissed from your employment.

Time Limitations for Filing

First, you must know that the time for filing a claim for unfair dismissal is twenty-one (21) days from the date of your termination. If you do not file within this time frame, your claim is likely to be denied.

Types of Claims Available

There are several options when considering filing a claim for being dismissed from your employment. The avenues are varied and complicated, so it is important not to file your claim until you have sought legal expertise as to which type of claim you should file. Some of the options for filing include;

  • Unfair dismissal
  • General protections
  • Breach of contract
  • Discrimination

The two most common claims are unfair dismissal and general protections claims.  Regardless of your cause of action, you will have to prove the elements of having been unfairly dismissed. These elements include;

  1. Your employer did not follow proper protocol when enacting your dismissal
  2. You were told your position was designated redundant but it actually wasn’t
  3. You were not fairly warned of your employer’s complaints about your work performance
  4. You were denied assistance when dealing with discussions pertaining to your dismissal
  5. Your employer did not provide you with a fair opportunity to respond to the complaints and/or allegations pertaining to your work performance or to the dismissal itself
  6. You did not receive written notice of your pending termination
  7. Overall your dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable

If you decide to file via a general protections claim for your termination, you will need to show that one of the following factors led to your dismissal; paycheck miscalculations, owed monies for bonuses, using holiday/sick leave time, participating in union-sponsored activities, making a claim for discrimination or sexual harassment

Maximum Compensation for Claims of Merit

Compensation for claims is capped by the Fair Work Act 2009. Not all claims are capped, so it is important to understand the capping system prior to filing your claim. However, the most relevant information regarding the caps on unfair dismissal claims includes the following;

  • The total amount you were to receive for six (6) months of employment immediately before the dismissal and
  • One-half of the amount of the income threshold

The total amount you were to receive for the 26 weeks prior to the termination can be easily calculated based upon your work hours/pay slips and/or your contracted rate of pay.

The one-half income threshold must be determined based upon dates. If your claim accrued between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020, your income cannot have exceeded $148,700 thereby limiting the value of your claim to no more than $74,350. If your claim arose after July 1, 2020, the income maximum for filing is $153,600. Hence you will not receive more than $76,800 in compensation. However, it is very important to note that the average claim does not usually exceed $8,000.

While this basic information can be very helpful, please note that the process itself is quite complicated. The first step in determining which type of claim to file can make a big difference in the final award of compensation. Therefore, we strongly recommend that if you are in a position to file a claim for inappropriate loss of employment, that you seek professional legal advice first.

 If you find yourself in need of assistance with this or any other legal issue, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of their legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.