General Protections Claims
Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (‘FWA’), there are a set of protections for employees that prohibit an ‘adverse action’ (i.e. dismissal) being made against them in the workplace. These protections relate to workplace rights, discrimination, involvement in industrial activities and sham arrangements.
According to the FWA, an employee must not be terminated for the following reasons:
- Workplace rights: Exercising, or proposing to exercise, a workplace right. This would include making any complaints or inquiries regarding their employment;
- Discrimination: Their race, colour, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin;
- Temporary absence: They have taken a temporary absence from work due to illness or injury of not more than 3 months, either in a single period or in separate periods within 12 months, unless they were on paid leave for the length of their absence, in accordance with the FWA. The employee would be required to provide a medical certificate;
- Freedom of association and Industrial activities: They have participated in an industrial activity (e.g. strike) or have chosen to join or not join a union; and
- Sham arrangements: They must not be dismissed by the employer with the intention of hiring them as an independent contractor that would continue to do the same (or similar) work.
The FWA covers most employees in the national workplace relations system, including those working for constitutional corporations, the Commonwealth government, and businesses in specific industries such as banking, finance, telecommunications, and transport.
To make a general protections termination claim, an employee needs to lodge an application with the Fair Work Commission (‘FWC’) within 21 days of the termination taking effect. The FWC will then assess the claim and will attempt to resolve the dispute through conciliation. If the matter remains unresolved, it may proceed to a hearing before the FWC or, in some cases, be referred to a court.
“Unfair Dismissal was successful for me after what appeared to be a difficult claim, they even paid my Fair Work registration fee. The professional approach gave me confidence, as they concentrated on the valid legal obligations and secured the end result. Marc was skilled, efficient and quick to follow up my calls to discuss any ongoing concerns.I can highly recommend this Company to anyone considering seeking an unfair dismissal claim.”
“I contacted Unfair Dismissals and they rang me back immediately. From the start there was constant communication advising me of the next steps l needed to take. They were very understanding and professional when dealing with my case and it was resolved very promptly. I would highly recommend this company to everybody.”
“Clear and precise communication on each process. If you have a genuine unfair case of dismissal, you will not be disappointed with the service given by these people. They are very compassionate and very understanding for those who have experienced a negative life changing work dismissal. Everything they said would happen did happen and the end result exceeded expectation. Thanks again to all.”
“Marcus assisted me through a process I really wasn’t looking forward to. Being unfamiliar with the environment, I was quite nervous engaging in the case the I brought forward. But his level of professionalism, understanding and consideration for my situation really eased my uncertainty and gave me plenty of confidence in not only myself but the procedure at hand.”