Our Gold Coast Lawyers have recently had a large amount of enquiries concerning the rights of employees following dismissal.

Our previous publications have discussed employee actions under the Fair Work Act 2009 (‘the Act’), such as unfair dismissal, genuine redundancy and general protections claims, however, there are circumstances where employees cannot bring these actions against their former employer.

Since July 2013, employees who earn more than $129,300.00 per annum are barred from bringing an action under the Act and alternatively, must rely on the terms of their employment contact.

Under usual employment contracts the employer has a right to terminate the employee in two ways:

  1. Notice of termination in accordance with the contract; or
  2. Summary dismissal.

The notice of termination can be an express term in the contract, however, when there is no term stipulating the required notice, the employer is obligated to provide the employee with ‘reasonable notice’. The following list of factors has been determined by the Courts as matters to be taken into consideration when deciding what ‘reasonable notice’ constitutes:

  1. Length of employment;
  2. Remuneration;
  3. Age of employee;
  4. Qualifications and experience; and
  5. Level or seniority.

If an employee was terminated without reasonable notice, then the Court may award damages for the breach of contract. The damages are purely compensatory, and will be assessed on the basis that the employee should be returned to the position they were in, before the breach occurred.

A breach of employment contract can be an expensive action and accordingly, it is recommended that you seek legal advice specific to your situation.

If you would like further information on wrongful dismissal, employee rights or employer obligations, please do not hesitate to contact our Gold Coast Lawyers on 5563 8970 or via email on; admin@affinitylawyers.com.au