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Understanding Your Rights: A Guide to Unfair Dismissal and Unlawful Termination

Navigating the world of employment can be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding the ins and outs of dismissal and termination laws. In this blog post, we will explore critical topics that every employee should know: constructive dismissal, the difference between unlawful termination and unfair dismissal, what qualifies as serious misconduct, and the process for unfair dismissal or unlawful termination claims.

Constructive Dismissal: When Resignation is Not Just Resignation

Sometimes an employee resigns from their position, not voluntarily, but due to unbearable circumstances created by the employer. This forced resignation is known as “constructive dismissal.” In these cases, despite the resignation, you may have the right to file an unfair dismissal claim if you can demonstrate that you were pressured into leaving your job. Although proving constructive dismissal can be challenging, successful claims are viewed seriously by the Fair Work Commission, often resulting in negative consequences for the employer. If you find yourself in this situation, seeking legal advice is highly recommended.

Unfair Dismissal vs. Unlawful Termination: Know the Difference

While both unfair dismissal and unlawful termination involve involuntary job loss, they have different legal definitions and implications. Unlawful termination refers to dismissal due to factors like race, color, sex, religious beliefs, age, or mental disability, which are protected under employment laws. If you believe you have been terminated unlawfully, you could have the basis for a claim, potentially resulting in penalties for your employer. You usually have 21 days from your dismissal date to lodge an unlawful termination claim.

Instant Dismissal: The Role of Serious Misconduct

Serious misconduct, such as theft, fraud, violence, or substantial safety breaches, can lead to immediate dismissal without notice. If you’re dismissed under these circumstances, and there is substantial evidence to support the misconduct, your employer’s decision is likely to stand up under scrutiny, particularly if they’ve reported the incident to the police.

Navigating Unfair Dismissal and Unlawful Termination Claims

If you’ve been unfairly dismissed, you have the right to lodge a claim against your employer. The first step your employer is likely to take is to file a written response, claiming they complied with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code.

When facing an unlawful termination claim, your employer has seven days to respond. If the dispute remains unresolved, the Fair Work Commission will attempt conciliation. If this is unsuccessful, you may choose to take your claim to the Federal Court or Federal Circuit Court for further proceedings.

Understanding your rights and the complexities of employment laws can be difficult, but it’s crucial in protecting your livelihood and ensuring fair treatment in the workplace. If you suspect you’re facing unfair dismissal or unlawful termination, consider speaking with Frontline Employment Defenders to navigate these challenges effectively.

Call Frontline Employment Defenders Now so we can help you 1300 089 353 or visit

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