Unfair Dismissal
Lawyer: Employment

Workplace Lawyers

Whether you are an employee or employer we all need to understand our rights and responsibilities in the workplace. These include mandatory breaks, restrictions on continuous hours as well as protection from unfair dismissal and bullying.
When commencing employment you need to be aware of the following:-
  1. What, if any, award you are covered by;
  2. Your level and position title;
  3. Description of your duties; and
  4. Your pay rate.
If your role is not covered by a specific award you will still be covered by the National Employment Standards and any other contracts or agreements do not negate the requirement for minimum wage and entitlements.
If you believe you are being paid incorrectly, you should research how much you believe you should have been paid and discuss it with your employer. The Fair Work Ombudsman can assist with template letters and tactics to approach this. If after discussing your pay with your employer you still believe you have been underpaid, there are processes to take the matter further.
When it comes to dismissal, it is important that you have been given an opportunity to explain your side of the story prior to you being notified of your dismissal. As an Employer it is also important that you are aware of your requirement to give an employee an opportunity to explain prior to termination. This opportunity to explain will generally be through a meeting. It is also important to keep a record of all communication, pay advices, any entitlements paid and superannuation paid and immediately obtain advice. You only have 21 days from the date of the dismissal to make an application to the Fair Work Commission for unfair dismissal.
Getting the advice early on and before discussing your issues with your employer can be a great asset as it will ensure you are armed with the knowledge to hopefully have a private and mutually respectful conversation with your employer.
Many employment matters, including unfair dismissal and bullying issues, go through a conciliation conference in an attempt to find a mutual and agreeable way to resolve the issues. The conciliation conference, a type of mediation, is private, confidential and should not cause any ramifications in the work place.
If you are an employer, it is vital that you understand your requirements under any award and the National Employment Standards. For clarity, it is often a good idea to have an employment contract or even a letter of offer for the position stating the role description, salary, level and award amongst other particulars.

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