New unfair dismissal process overview

The new unfair dismissal process set up under the Fair Work Act comprises a number of stages. These can be summarised as follows:

Stage 1 – The Termination

If you terminate an employee, you should always do this in writing, with specific reference to the date the termination is be operative from.

Stage 2 – The (ex) Employee Application

Your former employee needs to lodge an unfair dismissal application with Fair Work Australia within 14 days of the termination date (see Stage 1 above)

Stage 3 – The Employer Response

Fair Work Australia then writes to the employer seeking their side of the story a Form F3—Employer’s Response to Application for Unfair Dismissal Remedy.

Stage 4 – Conciliation

Fair Work Australia then seeks to resolve the issue by conducting a Telephone Conciliation between the ex employee and the employer. This is chaired by a trained conciliator. Most matters (currently around 81%) are settled at this point.

Stage 5 – Arbitration

If the matter cannot be resolved with a Telephone Conciliation, the matter is normally listed for a formal hearing before a member of Fair Work Australia.


Remedies available for those making unfair dismissal applications


  1. 1. Reinstatement – this is the preferred remedy


  2. 2. Reemployment

  3. 3. Compensation – of up to 6 months pay


Contact Mercury Law if you need any further assistance or information on how to deal with unfair dismissals or if you are faced with completing aEmployer’s Response to Application for Unfair Dismissal Remedy.


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