Clashes in employment relationships are common and disputes happen in every workplace. The dispute can often be resolved informally between the parties. With this comes reduced costs (such as legal fees) and a lot less stress for everyone involved!
When a dispute can’t be resolved informally, the employer or employee may seek legal advice to assist in resolving the situation. Depending on the dispute, a legal professional can help by:
- Providing advice on the legal position and rights and responsibilities of each party;
- Acting as an intermediary or support person;
- Facilitating alternate forms of dispute resolution such as mediation; and
- Commencing legal proceedings.
Legal proceedings are commonly commenced when a dispute leads to a termination of the employment, in circumstances which the employee believes were unfair.
Certain employees are protected from unfair dismissal and a dismissal may be unfair if it was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. In assessing the merits of a claim, the Fair Work Commission take into account a number of factors regarding:
- Whether the employer followed the right procedures – such as providing warnings and allowing a support person;
- Whether there was a valid reason for the dismissal based on the employee’s conduct or capacity – such as poor performance and breaches of policy; and
- Anything else the FWC considers relevant.
An employee may be able to make a claim for compensation or to get their job back. It’s important to note that applications must be made within 21 days of the dismissal. Parties should get legal advice as soon as possible.
To arrange an appointment to discuss your employment dispute and how we can assist, please email or give us a call. Or read more employment related blogs – redundancy and unfair dismissal or when can an employee be stood down?
*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon.