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Who can claim unfair dismissal?

Some staff are not currently covered by unfair dismissal laws. They include workers who are:

  • employed for less than six months
  • contracted for a fixed term
  • contracted for a specified season
  • on probation for a reasonable set period
  • casual workers engaged for a short period
  • trainees at the completion of their training contract
  • earning over $108,300 and not covered by an Award or Agreement (as at 1 July 2009)
  • genuinely made redundant because of operational changes.

Staff who are dismissed because of genuine operational changes - including economic, technological or structural changes - can't claim unfair dismissal. They may be able to claim unlawful termination if you do not give them the required notice or pay due under their award or agreement.

Most workers can make an unfair dismissal or unlawful termination claim with Fair Work Commission or the South Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

If you dismiss staff for discriminatory reasons, they can make a complaint against you under state or federal equal opportunity laws. All your staff are protected under these laws, including full time, part time, casual staff, contractors, staff on probation, trainees and apprentices.

South Australian workers may lodge a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission. If you receive a complaint of discrimination, see the Responding to a complaint fact sheet below.

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