As per the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), employees have 21 days from the date of the termination of their employment to lodge an application for unfair dismissal with the Fair Work Commission (FWC). If they miss this deadline, the FWC will not accept any claims or applications, unless the employee is able to prove their employers actions, contributed to their inability to make a claim within the 3 week period.
In a recent decision, the FWC reviewed an application in the Nyssa Kyte v Fire Trucks Australia case, where Ms Kyte claimed that her employer had sent her a termination letter due to extended absences from work. Ms Kyte said that she had supplied medical certificates for her absences and upon receiving the letter, had tried to organise a meeting with her employer and a support person to further explain her absences and resolve the issues regarding her absences and subsequently, her termination. At that meeting, Ms Kyte’s manager said he would need further advice and proceeded to delay getting back to the employee until she had fallen outside of the 21 day application period. After considering the evidence, the Fair Work Commission found that that the employee’s circumstances were exceptional, due in part to the delays caused by her manager, and an extension of time was granted.
If you are an employee who feels your employment has been unfairly terminated, you are well within your rights to apply for an unfair dismissal application with the FWC. However, you must supply factual grounds as to why you are making this application and how these issues, led to your unfair termination. It is best to seek legal advice to determine if you have a case and if so, how to structure your argument. Tyler & Co specialises in Business law and is happy to offer preliminary legal advice regarding employment law.