Losing your job can be incredibly upsetting, but it can make matters worse if you believe that you have been dismissed or terminated from your place of employment unfairly and unlawfully. If you believe that you should not have lost your job or that you were forced to resign because of an action taken by your employer, there are steps you can take to make sure that your rights are protected. It all begins with understanding the different ‘categories’ or terms that may be used when one has been fired or let go by an employer.
Unfair vs. Wrongful Dismissal: What’s the Difference?
Being unfairly dismissed from a job is quite different from being wrongfully dismissed. When one has been unfairly dismissed, the dismissal may be seen as being unjust, unreasonable, or harsh. It will also incorporate a variety of other issues, such as your employment type, the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code, and the Fair Work Act 2009.
A wrongful dismissal (also known as an unlawful dismissal) is one where there has been a breach of the contract you signed with your employer. These situations involve an employer terminating an employee without having the right to do so under the terms of the contract they signed with the employee. These cases are a matter of common law.
- What about Redundancy? You may still have legal rights if you are being let go of because the company you are or were working for is undergoing a restructure and your job role is no longer available. There may be statutory and/or contractual entitlements to leave, notice, and redundancy pay, as well as other non-salary rights like share options and bonuses. A Maurice Blackburn redundancy attorney will be able to help you determine your legal rights and entitlements.
What Should You Do After You Have Been Let Go?
If you feel comfortable speaking to your employer or the company’s human resources department, trying to resolve the reasons behind your dismissal with them is the best first step to take. The Australian labour relations department may be able to help you and your employer achieve conciliation. They will provide you with a specialist who will help both parties sort through the facts and issues surrounding your dismissal.
The next important step is to retain all correspondence with your employer, including any letters or notes sent and received, telephone conversations, contracts, amendments, and so on. This will help you prove whether or not you have been treated unjustly and whether you were lawfully terminated from your place of employment.
If you feel that you have not received resolution when speaking to your employer directly or through labour relations, contacting an attorney who is trained in redundancy and labour laws is the final step to take. Attorneys that specialise in employment law will listen to and discuss your specific scenario. The employment law attorney will help you understand your rights, your legal options, and the likely outcomes of each so that you can choose the best course of action to take.