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Employee Rights and Unfair Dismissal in Australia – A Guide for Employees

Facing an unfair dismissal can be a distressing experience for employees. It is crucial that you are aware of your rights and understand the appropriate steps to take if you find yourself in such a situation.

  1. Seek Professional Advice: It is advisable to consult with an employment lawyer who specialises in unfair dismissal cases. They can assess your circumstances and offer guidance on the best course of action.
  1. Gather Supporting Evidence: Collect any evidence that can support your claim of unfair dismissal. This may include emails, performance appraisals, or witness statements. Strong evidence is vital in building a compelling case.
  1. File a Complaint: Lodge a complaint with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) within the specified time frame of 21 days after dismissal. The FWC is an independent body responsible for handling workplace disputes, including unfair dismissal claims.
  1. Conciliation Process: The FWC will facilitate a conciliation conference to encourage discussions between you and your former employer. The objective is to reach a mutually agreeable resolution without proceeding to formal proceedings.
  1. Formal Hearing: If conciliation fails or is deemed inappropriate, your case may progress to a formal hearing. The FWC will assess the evidence presented by both parties and make a decision based on the merits of your case.
  1. Compensation or Reinstatement: If the FWC determines that your dismissal was unfair, they may order compensation or reinstatement. Compensation can include lost wages, bonuses, and other benefits that would have been received if not unfairly dismissed.
  1. Case Preparation: An HR consultant can assist with gathering evidence, preparing your case, and presenting it effectively. They can identify any gaps in your evidence and help strengthen your claim.
  1. Mediation and Negotiation: HR consultants can represent you during conciliation conferences and negotiations with your employer. Their expertise in conflict resolution can facilitate productive discussions and increase the likelihood of a satisfactory outcome.
  1. Compliance and Documentation: HR consultants can ensure all necessary paperwork and documentation are completed accurately and submitted within the required timelines. This includes filing the complaint with the FWC and adhering to procedural requirements.

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