Unfair Dismissal and Small Business in Australia

Unfair Dismissal and Small Business in Australia

When it comes to labor law governed by Fair Work Australia, small businesses are treated a little differently. As defined by this state labor inspectorate, a small business is any business with 15 or fewer employees. The number is calculated from a basic headcount of all employees, which includes regularly employed temporary workers and casual workers.


To further differentiate small, medium, and large companies, the government created what is known as the Small Business Fair Laundering Act, which as a general rule stipulates that workers cannot claim unfair dismissal australia during their first year of employment.

If the employee is fired after 12 months from the start of their employment and the employer has complied with this Code, the termination will be considered fair. Another scenario that would prevent an employee from filing a wrongful dismissal request is when the company is experiencing a downturn or the role is no longer needed.


As with any size company, a layoff must be fair and genuine, meaning that the position in that capacity is no longer available or, for example, has been transferred to another location. The so-called Fair Work Act in Australia contains requirements that must be met for a dismissal to be considered genuine. 


There are situations in which an employee may be terminated without notice or warning like employment lawyers perth, including when an employer has reasonable grounds to believe that the employee’s conduct was serious in nature. This serious misconduct can include violence, fraud, theft, and violations of occupational safety and health (OH&S) procedures. In some cases, employers can report certain incidents to the police.


In all other cases in which termination without notice is not justified, a small business owner is obliged to warn an employee and to justify why his employment in the company could be at risk. The warning should relate to either inappropriate employee behavior or their inability to perform job requirements. This warning can be given verbally, but it is most expedient and ideally in writing.


As with any conflict, an employee must be given an opportunity to respond to the alert and also given time to address the issue. The problem-resolution process may include additional training, consultation, and regular follow-up meetings. The employee also has the option of having a third person present during the consultations, as long as that person is not an employment lawyer.



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