As an employer, there’s every chance that you will have an unfair dismissal claim brought against you at some point. Even if you follow the law to the letter, you will always have disgruntled ex-employees who feel like they’ve been unfairly treated and that they deserve some sort of compensation.
Fortunately, it’s quite easy to defend against unfair dismissal claims if you’ve followed the correct procedures. If you’re not completely familiar with the process, we’d always recommend hiring a lawyer to keep you out of trouble. However, the following four steps should provide a solid base to help you understand what’s involved with defending an unfair dismissal claim.
Step 1: Check Whether the Employee Was Eligible to Make a Claim
One thing that a lot of employers don’t realise is that not every ex-employee is actually eligible to make an unfair dismissal claim. To be eligible, an employee must have been:
- Employed for at least six months, or 12 months for businesses with less than 15 employees. Unpaid leave and unauthorised absence don’t usually count towards these periods.
- Earning less than the high-income threshold or covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement. In most cases, employees earning more than $148,500 per year (as of July 2019) will be ineligible to make a claim.
As you can see, this immediately discounts a lot of people.