Published on April 21st, 2020 | by Sumit Bhowal0
Wrongful Dismissal: The Next Steps
If you have fallen victim to wrongful dismissal, you may be wondering what the next steps are. How do you commence formal legal proceedings against your employer and who can you turn to for support? Lodging an application for unfair dismissal doesn’t need to be overwhelming, the process can be straight forward especially if you have a legal professional guiding you along the way.
Making An Application
A formal legal process commences once a person lodges an application for unfair dismissal remedies. An application is not just a simple complaint- it’s a legal process that follows the mandatory procedures set in place. Essentially, once the application is lodged, a copy of the document is forwarded to the employer. The Fair Work Commission then contacts the employer asking them to respond to the application. Where and if possible in the given circumstances, the commission will aim to resolve the unfair dismissal applications through an agreement.
During the application process, you will be required to provide the following details:
- Your contact details as well as any representatives
- Your former employers contact details which can be located on your payslip
- An account of your employment details specifically the date you commenced work, the date you were notified of your dismissal and the date you finished work
- An outline of the reasons given for your dismissal by your former employer
- The reasons why you believe that the dismissal was unfair and;
- Your signature
In completing the form, it is important to provide as much detail as possible. If you fail to fully complete your application, there will be a delay in processing until the issues are rectified. If the issues are not fixed, the commission will dismiss your claim.
Once fully completed, an application fee must be paid for your lodgment to progress. Employers who have found themselves served with an unfair dismissal claim, have argued that the requirements for the claim are extremely low. However if increase, employees access to justice will be diminished.
Application Is Assigned To A Case Manager
A case manager is allocated to specific applications where they are required to prepare the files in order for the Commissions processes to go ahead. The case manager does not provide help to either employer or employee in managing the application. Case managers are not permitted to provide legal advice about submitting an application nor can they help you in filling out an application or response. However, they can assist you by providing information about the process. The Fair Work Commission does not have the authority to investigate any unfair dismissal claims nor can they commence any legal action against an employer. The commission simply deals with the evidence and claims that are brought before it
Employer’s Response To An Application
Once employers receive a copy of the application, this will be the first time that they become aware of the unfair dismissal claim that you are making against them. Your former employer is legally required to respond to the claim, even if they have an honest belief that your dismissal was based on reasonable grounds. The claim will not simply go away through avoidance- if they fail to provide a response, a decision may still be made against them.
Not only does wrongful dismissal contravene the Fairwork Act, but it also leaves employees feeling completely powerless in the whole situation. If you have found yourself in this position, it is important to regain control and take the necessary steps in order to hold your employer accountable for their actions. It is important for your experiences to be recognised as behaviours of unfair dismissal in order to prevent a pattern of behaviour from occurring in the future.