If you were recently dismissed from your employment in circumstances that, you believe, were harsh, unjust or unreasonable, you might be thinking of lodging an unfair dismissal claim against your employer in the Fair Work Commission. Please see our previous article here for more information on lodging claims with the Commission and your eligibility.
One important consideration for you would be the remedy you may expect from a successful unfair dismissal claim. If the Commission decides that the dismissal was unfair, it may order a reinstatement of your job or compensation. However, given the expected breakdown of the relationship between parties, compensation is often a more suitable form of remedy.
The compensation you can expect is the income you have lost due to the dismissal. Importantly, the Commission cannot order any compensation for any pain and suffering, shock, distress, hurt or humiliation.
To work out the compensation, the Commission considers the following factors:
(a) your remuneration, considering your income in the last 6 months before the dismissal and how long you would have remained working for the employer if you were not dismissed;
(b) any adjustments needed to be made on account of any income you earned after the dismissal (excluding any income support payments from Centrelink), any misconduct on your part or other contingencies;
(c) your efforts to reduce your loss; and
(d) the compensation cap (see below).
The maximum amount of compensation that the Commission can order is the lower of:
(a) half of your annual wage; or
(b) the compensation cap (i.e., $81,000 for dismissals occurring on or after 1 July 2022. It changes on 1 July each year.)
If you are looking for advice on employment termination, including unfair dismissal claims, reach out to our team at MCW Lawyers. We are experienced in providing tailored advice on all aspects of employment law.