The WAIRC and Unfair Dismissal in WA

The WAIRC and Unfair Dismissal in WA

Are you a Western Australian employee who feels you have been unfairly dismissed from your workplace but cannot lodge a claim at the Fair Work Commission because you are a State System employee? There is another avenue – the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (the WAIRC).

A State System employee is a person who works for a company that is not incorporated.

Eligibility for an unfair dismissal claim with the WAIRC

To be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal before the WAIRC you need to meet the following criteria:

  1. be an employee;
  2. be employed under the State System; and
  3. earn less than $155,800 (which is indexed each year).

You will need to prove that:

  1. you were an employee;
  2. your employment was terminated by the employer; and
  3. the termination was harsh, oppressive or unfair.

What is not unfair dismissal?

1. If the employer has a valid reason – for example, if:

  • you were unable to do the job;
  • your behavior or conduct is not in line with company values; or
  • a legitimate business need (such as redundancy).

2. If you were given a reason for your dismissal and then an opportunity to respond to that reason.

3. If your performance is unsatisfactory and you have received warnings in the past regarding the same behaviour.

Time limit for WAIRC unfair dismissal claims

You will need to lodge an application into the WAIRC within 28 days of your dismissal in order to protect your claim.

Lodgement of your WAIRC unfair dismissal claim

You will need to lodge a Form 2 – Notice of claim of harsh, oppressive or unfair dismissal in order to commence your claim. This form can be downloaded from the WAIRC website and can be lodged online. The application fee is $50 (as at the date of this article).

What happens next

After you have lodged your claim you will be required to serve it on the other party. Once the documents have been served you will then need to file a Form 4 – Statutory Declaration for Service and lodge it into the WAIRC.

From there you will receive a date for your Conciliation Hearing. This is where you and the other party will attend an informal conference headed by a Commissioner or a Deputy Registrar in order to reach an agreed resolution.

Am I able to have legal representation?

Yes, you can choose to have legal representation to protect your best interests (rather than choosing to self represent).

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