Hospo Voice

What you need to know about unfair dismissal

March 21, 2022

Like when can you claim it?

If you’ve unexpectedly lost your hospo job recently, you might complain that it was bloody unfair. But did you know that in certain circumstances, ‘unfair dismissal’ is actually a thing and is something you can fight back on? If it’s found that your dismissal was unfair, you could be eligible to get your job back or get a payout.

So what makes a job loss ‘unfair dismissal’ and what can you do if you think you qualify? 

What is unfair dismissal?

Unfair dismissal is when you’re terminated or forced to resign in a way that is harsh, unjust or unreasonable. Whether you’re eligible to apply can depend on the size of the business you work for, how long you’ve worked there, and the circumstances of how you lost your job.

For example, say you were a good worker who always turned up on time. One day you were slightly late and your boss yelled at you, then fired you in front of your colleagues. You might claim for unfair dismissal because the reason they sacked you was unjust and the way they did it was unreasonable.

You usually can’t claim unfair dismissal if you’re a casual employee, and the size of the business can also make a difference on whether you can claim. Not sure if it was unfair? There’s a quiz on the Fair Work Commission website for you to check your eligibility.

When should I claim unfair dismissal?

ASAP! If you’ve done the quiz and you think your dismissal was unfair, then you have 21 days from the date you lost your job to file an application.

You apply to the Fair Work Commission through their website by completing and submitting the Fair Work Commission Form F2.

Applications cost $74.50. If you are in serious hardship, you can request a fee waiver through a fee waiver form, which you should submit when you send your application.

Do you think you’ve been unfairly dismissed?

Join Hospo Voice today

Hospo Voice members can access help and advice through our Mobilise app and all of the info in our Member Hub.

Do I need a lawyer?

The Fair Work Commission unfair dismissal process is designed for workers to represent themselves.

You have a right to a lawyer if you choose. That lawyer just needs to get permission from the Fair Work Commission.

What’s a conciliation?  

Once the Fair Work Commission accepts your application, they’ll schedule a conciliation meeting between you and your employer. This will take place about 2-4 weeks after your application.

The purpose of the conciliation meeting is to work out a settlement. There will be a conciliator in the meeting, however their role isn’t to decide about your termination. Instead, they will ask you and your employer questions to help with the discussion.

You need to decide what would settle it all for you. Common settlement offers include:

What happens if your application isn’t settled at conciliation?

If your conciliation doesn’t result in a settlement, then you can take the matter to the Fair Work Commission.

You make your submissions, then you will go to a hearing where you will present your argument. The Fair Work Commissioner will determine whether your dismissal was unfair.

Have you lost your job recently and want to know more about unfair dismissal? Join Hospo Voice and check out our fact sheets in our member hub for more information.

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