Serving as unfair dismissal lawyers for employees and assisting them with bringing unfair dismissal applications in Newcastle, Sydney and New South Wales.

Unfair dismissal lawyers help employees understand their options should they feel they’ve been unfairly dismissed from their job.

Unfair dismissal is when an employee is dismissed from their job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner. A dismissal can either be the termination of employment by the employer, or be a resignation by an employee which was forced by the employer.

If an employee wants to make an application for unfair dismissal, they must do so within 21 days of the dismissal taking effect. Employees only have access to unfair dismissal claims if they have been continuously employed for 6 months. If they have been working for a small business with less than 15 employees, this threshold period is extended to 12 months.

If you think you have been unfairly dismissed, it is important that you seek advice as soon as possible, as unfair dismissal claims must be made with 21 days of the dismissal. Call us on (02) 4929 7002 or email us at to discuss your options.

Genuine redundancy

A dismissal will not be unfair if it is a genuine redundancy. A dismissal will be characterised as a genuine redundancy if:

  • the employer no longer requires the employee’s job to be performed by any person due to changes in the operational requirements of the business; and
  • the employer has complied with any consulting obligations imposed by an applicable modern award or enterprise agreement relating to redundancies.

A dismissal will not be a genuine redundancy if it would have been reasonable in all of the circumstances to redeploy the worker within the business, or to an associated business. If an employer believes that a dismissal was a genuine redundancy, they can object to an application for unfair dismissal on that basis.

The process

Once an employee makes an unfair dismissal application, the FWC will send a copy of the application to the employer. The employer will then have an opportunity to respond to the application.

Usually, the Fair Work Commission will then organise a time and date for a conciliation conference. The conciliation process is voluntary, and can help both sides to resolve the dispute without continuing to a hearing.

If the dispute cannot be resolved through conciliation, the application will be sent to a Fair Work Commission Member, who will either make a decision or send the matter for hearing. It is more common for a matter to be sent for hearing than for a decision to be made at this stage.

If a dispute is sent for hearing, the Fair Work Commission can order a range of remedies, including reinstatement and compensation. The Commission will only order reinstatement of an employee into their previous role if it is appropriate in the circumstances, which include the state of the relationship between the parties. Orders for compensation are capped at 26 weeks ordinary pay, and cannot include compensation for shock, hurt or humiliation. Ordinary pay will be calculated as the pay the employee was entitled to in the period immediately before the dismissal.

Your Unfair Dismissal Lawyers

If you have been dismissed or made redundant, call us on (02) 4929 7002 or email us at to discuss your options. It is important that you seek advice as soon as possible, as unfair dismissal claims must be made with 21 days of the dismissal.


“We needed a new standard contract for our employees that complied with the relevant award conditions. We wanted a document that was short and easy to understand. Butlers drafted a standard agreement that we could use for our employees and advised on what we needed to do to comply with awards and employment legislation. The team took a practical approach and guided us through this complex area of law.”


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Our experienced team of solicitors can help you with every aspect of the enterprise agreement negotiation and bargaining process. If you need assistance with enterprise agreements or the bargaining process, email us at or call us on (02) 4929 7002.