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Employers Win Most Unfair Dismissal Judgements

Employers win most unfair dismissal judgements

Most unfair dismissal cases that result in a formal judgement are won by employers, not workers, according to new figures released by the Fair Work Commission.

In fact, less than one percent of all claims result in a formal judgement against employers.

The figures

According to the Commission’s quarterly report for October to December 2018, of the 3521 applications for unfair dismissal, just 5 percent made it to a formal ruling.

Most claims were either settled or withdrawn long before reaching that point.

637 (18 percent) of claims were settled before any compulsory conciliation took place.

Most were settled during the conciliation process – 2042 (58 percent).

Another 535 (15 percent) were settled post-conciliation but before they reached a formal hearing, while 11 more were withdrawn at this point.

That left just 192 claims that needed the commission to hand down a judgement.

Majority of rulings go employer’s way

The statistics reveal that when it comes to actual rulings, most go the way of the employer.

Of the 192 cases that resulted in a judgement, 157, or more than four out of five (81 percent) were thrown out.

Just 35 applications were successful in a ruling by the Commission (0.99 per cent of the total made), 21 of which ordered compensation.

Two required no remedy, another two ordered the worker to be reinstated while four ordered both reinstatement and backpay of lost earnings.

The remaining six are yet to have a remedy determined.

Employers should seek expert advice before sacking an employee

Miles Heffernan, Litigation Director at Employer Advisors, said businesses that are planning on performance managing an employee should seek professional advice first.

“Too many employers come unstuck when dismissing an under performing employee by not following a proper process and taking the right steps, and that’s why they end up in the Fair Work Commission defending an unfair dismissal claim,” he said.

“The best way to avoid the time and cost of defending such claims is to contact a firm like ours, because we know all the traps and pitfalls, so we can manage the process in an effective and professional manner that will reduce the risk of a claim ever being lodged.

“Spending a bit of money at the beginning of the process will save you thousands down the track if you end up in the Fair Work Commission.”


>>  Fair Work Commission orders costs against worker for losing unfair dismissal

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>>  How much money can you expect to make if you’re unfairly dismissed?

If you need assistance to performance manage a difficult employee, we can help.

Please call our specialists at Employer Advisors today on

1300 853 837

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