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Unfair Dismissal

Have you been unfairly dismissed?  Then speak to us first!

If you are an employee that has been dismissed or an employer that needs to dismiss an employee, our employment legal team are here to help.

Our employment lawyers understand the unfair dismissal claim process. We act for both employees and employers to apply for and defend unfair dismissal claims.

Unfair dismissal is a legal protection given to certain employees in cases where the dismissal of employment is harsh, unjust or unreasonable. We help Australians understand their rights and obligations and potential avenues to resolve employment disputes.

Contact us for a free consultation

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Unfair Dismissal
Legal Services

Unfair Dismissal Advice

Our team of skilled workplace lawyers have experience representing clients in unfair dismissal cases.

We understand the complexities of employment law and can help you understand your options and legal rights. Whether you are an employee or an employer, we’re here to help.

Whether you have been unfairly dismissed, are facing a potential dismissal or simply want to better understand your rights as an employee, our unfair dismissal legal services can help.

Fair Work Representation for Employees

Unfair dismissal claims are available to many Australian employees. Our lawyers review the employment contract, the Fair Work Act and any relevant Modern Award or Enterprise Agreement.

Our team of unfair dismissal lawyers will then assess whether there is a valid reason for the dismissal and provide guidance on the best way forward.

Our workplace lawyers can negotiate compensation for employees .

Fair Work Representation for Employers

We are committed to providing our clients with a personalised service that meets their needs.

We develop a solid understanding of our client’s specific circumstances so that we can strive for the best possible outcome.

We advise employers on the steps to take to minimise any claim that an employee has been unfairly dismissed. This may involve reviewing evidence, including CCTV footage, witness statements and any written warnings.

Settling Unfair Dismissal Disputes

Even if there is no valid unfair dismissal claim, an employee may have a claim for adverse action or breach of contract. Our workplace lawyers can negotiate compensation for employees and defend unfair dismissal claims for employers.

Many employment disputes are resolved through a deed of release and settlement. Our team of employment lawyers can draft, review and negotiate deeds of release and ex gratia payments.

Claims process for wrongful dismissal claims

How to make an unfair dismissal claim

If an employee wants to make an unfair dismissal claim, the application must be made within 21 days from the date of termination of the employment. An application may be refused by the Fair Work Commission if this time limit is not met.

An application must contain information supporting the reason why the dismissal is claimed to be harsh, unjust or unreasonable. A fee may also need to be paid at the time of lodging the application.


How to defend an unfair dismissal claim

Employers must file an employer’s response to an application for unfair dismissal within the time required by the Fair Work Commission. A claim for unfair dismissal can be defended by showing the:

  • dismissal was not harsh unjust or unreasonable
  • Small Business Fair Dismissal Code was complied with
  • dismissal was a genuine redundancy
  • employee engaged in unsatisfactory performance and a proper performance management process was followed
  • summary dismissal was appropriate
  • dismissal was not at the employer’s initiative

Meet our Employment Lawyers

Our team of lawyers come from different industry backgrounds, and all are experienced when it comes to unfair dismissal claims.

Meet our team of professional employment lawyers – you’ll be glad you did.

employment lawyer and workplace investigation

Farrah Motley


Farrah has over ten years of experience in employment law. Farrah oversees all employment law matters and guides strategy.

Micaela Diaz, Associate Lawyer I am an Australian-qualified lawyer with experience spanning multiple industries and jurisdictions.

Micaela Diaz

Associate Lawyer

Micaela provides our clients with personable and empathetic employment law advice. She is a passionate advocate for our clients.

Krystal Parle | Senior Lawyer - I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Queensland University of Technology. I am also a Queensland Justice of the Peace.

Krystal Parle​

Senior Lawyer​

Krystal is skilled at getting into the details on our client’s employment law matters. She is an excellent employment law lawyer.

Courtney is a highly qualified lawyer with years of experience in managing employment law matters

Courtney Lambert

Senior Lawyer

Courtney has advised both employers and employees on unfair dismissal matters. Courtney is a practical, solutions-focused lawyer.

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Unfair Dismissal Law FAQs

Yes. We offer a free 15 minute consultation. This time allows us to get a basic understanding of your case and let you know how we can help you. After the consultation, we may send you some follow up questions or respond with a fixed fee quote.

Dismissal of an employee may be considered unfair if:

  • there was no valid reason for dismissal
  • there were issues with the way the process was carried out
  • the employer’s response was disproportionate to the worker’s conduct
  • not enough warnings were given to the employee
  • the employee was dismissed because of a discriminatory reason

In general, the maximum amount of compensation that can be awarded for unfair dismissal is 26 weeks of the employee’s annual salary.

The Fair Work Commission does not often grant extensions to the 21 day time limit on unfair dismissal applications. It is important for applications to be submitted on time (even if supporting information is provided later).

An extension may be granted if a worker suffers a serious illness, is hospitalised for that period, or some other compelling and genuinely unavoidable circumstance that meant the application was not lodged on time.

Our employment legal team will assess your legal matter and provide you with a fixed fee quote. Our quote will vary depending on the complexity of your matter and what legal advice you seek but usually range between $850 to $3,500 plus GST.

We recommend that you seek legal advice from experienced employment lawyers. Unfair dismissal is not just about the reason for the dismissal but can also apply if the process that was followed was incorrect.

Employees and employers are unable to contract out of the unfair dismissal regime. However, it is common for employees to pay a settlement amount in exchange for a worker foregoing some of their legal rights. This document is called a deed of release and settlement.

Yes. One of the options that may be open to employees that have been dismissed is to have their job reinstated. Sometimes this may not be the best option if there has been a breakdown in the employment relationship

Minimum employment period

A minimum employment period applies before a worker can make an unfair dismissal application. The minimum employment period is either six months or twelve months, depending on the circumstances. Our employment lawyers will confirm the minimum employment period that applies.

High income threshold

There are still avenues available for employees that have an income that is more than the high income threshold. In some cases, an unfair dismissal remedy may still be available to those employees.

Unfair dismissal for a casual employee

A casual employee may be entitled to an unfair dismissal remedy if they are employed on a regular and systematic basis and have an expectation of ongoing employment. Contact our employment law team for advice on whether a casual employee meets the eligibility criteria.

Remember, not all workers that are classified as casual employees are legally considered to be casual.

Small business employers

A small business employer can still be served with an application for unfair dismissal. The Unfair Dismissal Small Business Code provides guidance for small business employers regarding unfair dismissal. If you are a small business or you are employed by a small business, contact our employment lawyers today.

We offer personalised legal services

We are committed to providing our clients with a personalised service that meets their needs. We develop a solid understanding of our client’s specific circumstances so that we can strive for the best possible outcome. This might be reinstatement, compensation or a negotiated settlement.

We will also be honest and transparent if a particular course of action is unlikely to be successful. This enables our clients to make the best decisions.

We provide employment legal services for a fixed fee

Our comprehensive employment legal services for employers and employees regarding unfair dismissal cases are offered on a fixed-fee basis. This means you will know exactly how much you pay for our legal services upfront.

We do not charge an uplift on any Fair Work fees or other third party searches.

Our fixed fee pricing is transparent and affordable. If you seek legal advice, make sure to ask one of our friendly lawyers for a fixed fee quote for an unfair dismissal claim.