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Unfair Dismissal

Unfair dismissal occurs when an employee is dismissed or forced to resign for reasons that are unfair, unjust or unreasonable. It is illegal to terminate an employee on grounds that are unfair and not genuine and serious penalties may apply.

This also applies in cases where a dismissal was not a genuine redundancy. Terminated employees have 21 days in which to lodge an application for unfair dismissal from the date the termination takes effect.

Employees who are dismissed from a small business will only have a claim if their dismissal breached the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code.

Some common examples of unfair dismissal are:

  • If an employee is terminated for exercising a workplace right
  • If an employee is terminated without due process having been followed
  • If an employee is terminated on the basis of discrimination
  • If an employee is terminated under the guise of a ‘sham redundancy’


Laws in relation to unfair dismissal are governed by national legislation. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) sets out the laws relating to employment law and unfair dismissal. Applications for unfair dismissal are heard by Fair Work Commission (FWC).

What is an Unfair Dismissal Lawyer?

Unfair dismissal lawyers primarily work for individuals and businesses engaged in the termination of an employment contract. Unfair dismissal is where an employee is dismissed from employment in what is considered a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner. Scenarios of unfair dismissal may regard the notice period given to an employee is deemed unfair or a dismissal without appropriate grounds.

An unfair dismissal lawyer will work within employment law focussing on advising either employees who have been dismissed or employers that have had a claim for unfair dismissal placed against them.

Why do I need an Unfair Dismissal Lawyer?

If you are in the situation where you have been unfairly dismissed or are an employer who has recently discharged an employee, it is important to engage with an unfair dismissal lawyer. An unfair dismissal lawyer should be your first point of call if you are thinking of challenging or defending an employment termination. It is also crucial applications are made quickly, unfair dismissal claims require a fast application because there is a twenty-one day deadline for dismissal claims, therefore an unfair dismissal lawyer will be the quickest way of making an application.

When you submit a quote through LawPath, we’ll source you quotes from a range of expert unfair dismissal lawyer. All of our lawyers work on a fixed-price basis, meaning you always know how much the process will cost.

What will an Unfair Dismissal Lawyer provide?

An unfair dismissal lawyer will provide an affordable, appropriate and effective solution to your matter. Lawyers who work in the area of unfair dismissal are experts in understanding the solution you want. If you have been unfairly dismissed, an unfair dismissal lawyer knows the importance of the time constraints placed on applications. They will adapt a straightforward approach to your matter to ensure your interests and rights are protected.

How Much Will an Unfair Dismissal Lawyer Charge?

Usually, an application for unfair dismissal will depend on the circumstances of termination. It is common for lawyers to charge by the hour after an initial consultation where an estimate of price will be given. In rare circumstance, these claims may have to go through the court system, in this circumstance, prices may rise dramatically.

LawPath only works with lawyers that provide unfair dismissal assistance on a fixed-price basis. This ensures the pricing you receive is transparent and affordable. We provide our customers with a range of fixed-price quotes from our lawyer network to ensure that you receive an unfair-dismissal lawyer at an affordable price.

Hourly rates and Court fees

The cost of an Unfair Dismissal Lawyer will vary based on the scope of the work. Small issues likely to be addressed quickly will cost less. For matters that will need to go to the relevant Court, Commission, or Tribunal, there may be additional fees involved, particularly as this work takes time. These types of matters may also involve obtaining documents and negotiating with the other party.

What can an Unfair Dismissal Lawyer legally charge?

Legal costs can rise very quickly, especially in litigation. However, this is sometimes hard to avoid when work is being done by a lawyer on an hourly basis. Where fixed-fees are not offered by the lawyer, you should expect to be invoiced on a monthly basis with a time period within which you are required to make payment. Lawyers are required to adhere to the rules outlined in the relevant acts. For example, in NSW and Victoria, this is the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2014. Lawyers who do not comply with these rules can face disciplinary action from the law society of their State.

Lawyers are required to provide to their clients a document called a ‘costs disclosure’ if your costs will be higher than $750.00. This document will outline how costs will be calculated in relation to your case. Also be mindful that costs are divided into ‘professional costs’ and ‘disbursements’, and you will be expected to pay for both. Professional costs are the costs of the actual work done by the lawyer, whilst disbursements cover incidentals such as court filing fees, telephone calls, photocopying charges – amongst other things.

What if I don’t agree with the costs?

You have the right to request an itemised bill that will outline how much time was spent on each task in relation to your matter, and how this adds up to the fee you’re requested to pay. If you wish to dispute the cost, you can make a complaint to the The Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC) and they will investigate the matter and may allocate a costs assessor. You can also take further legal action in the Courts if you feel you have been unfairly charged.

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