Q. I’ve just received an Unfair Dismissal Application in my inbox after terminating the employee recently. I have no idea what to do next. Can you help?
A: Receiving notification that an employee is claiming unfair dismissal against your business is often difficult news to learn. In many cases, the employer might feel as though they had provided significant support and opportunities to the employee prior to the termination, only to be repaid with an unfair dismissal application.
Unfair dismissals can be daunting to receive, but it is almost inevitable for any employer that they will at some stage receive an application due to the ease and low cost of lodging one. Below is a rundown of the process and things to consider.
In the first stage, the employer will receive email notification from the Fair Work Commission of the Unfair Dismissal Application which should include the following documents; a Form F2 – Unfair Dismissal Application which sets out the reasons why the former employee feels that the dismissal was unfair; a Notice of Listing which states when the conciliation conference will be held; and a Form F3 – Employer’s Response to Application for an Unfair Dismissal Remedy form which enables the employer to respond in writing to the claims.
Using the relevant form, the employer returns their response to the Fair Work Commission and also serves it on the Applicant within seven (7) days. It is recommended that the employer engages a specialist in the Unfair Dismissal space (such as Industryus HR) as only a specialist will be abreast of the relevant legislation and how this can be used to get the best outcomes for the employer.
The next step is the conciliation, where the aim is for the Conciliator to assist both parties to reach a mutually agreed resolution. For this stage, again, it is highly recommended that you appoint a specialist to represent you. We say this because this step is about understanding what is a realistic outcome for the situation at hand and engaging the right strategy to get there. A specialist will also be able to talk to you about your chances of success in the next stage which is arbitration (if conciliation was unsuccessful) and what this might mean for your business in terms of time required for the process, legal costs, costs to reputation etc.
If you receive an Unfair Dismissal Application and would like to talk to Industryus HR about your options, call 07 5655 4047 or click here.