At Websters, our experienced Industrial Lawyers work with numerous clients who have been unfairly dismissed from their employment. We understand that the termination of one’s employment is an extremely stressful time for clients and their families, and we are eager to work with clients to achieve outstanding results.
Unfair dismissal law can be very complex, and these cases are often hard-fought, emotional and protracted. Different unfair dismissal laws apply to different circumstances – for example, some workers are covered by the Federal scheme, whereas other workers fall under South Australian legislation. Our expert lawyers have successfully pursued claims under both the State and Federal schemes.
If a worker has been dismissed, Websters can prepare the relevant documentation to argue a case before the Fair Work Commission or the South Australian Employment Tribunal. It is important to understand that very strict timeframes apply in relation to lodging the documentation (21 days from the termination) and if this deadline lapses, extensions may only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
The dismissal will usually be considered unfair if we can demonstrate that it was ‘harsh, unjust or unreasonable’. Numerous factors will determine whether the dismissal did occur in harsh, unjust or unreasonable circumstances, including:
- Did a valid reason exist for the dismissal
- Was the worker notified about the allegations and given an appropriate opportunity to respond
- Was the worker afforded ‘procedural fairness’, for example, was he/she allowed a support person to be present during disciplinary meetings
- Does the worker have a history of poor performance or misconduct
- Was the dismissal actually a dismissal, or was it a ‘redundancy’ or some other form of termination
- Was the worker actually ‘employed’ by the relevant employer, or were they an independent contractor or employed via a labour-hire firm
- How long had the worker been employed before the dismissal?
Our lawyers work extremely diligently to prove that a dismissal was unfair, including obtaining all relevant documentation/evidence regarding the employment and the termination, taking witness statements from our clients and colleagues, and thoroughly preparing cases for trial if a settlement cannot be achieved beforehand.
We have succeeded in securing compensation for clients, and in some cases, even reinstatement of employment.
Not every worker can pursue an unfair dismissal claim, and we provide expert advice to clients regarding whether they can indeed lodge a claim. Even if a worker cannot technically pursue an unfair dismissal claim, there are often other legal avenues to explore.
If you have been unfairly dismissed, contact us without delay.