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Unfair dismissal claims skyrocket

15 May 2020

Fair Work Commission President Justice Iain Ross has revealed that unfair dismissal claims have increased by 60% last month in comparison with April last year. The primary driver for these claims being COVID-19.

Justice Ross also noted that voluntary settlements of matters had declined, reflecting the difficult circumstances that parties face. Cash flow for employers is increasingly tight which affects the capacity for them to make commercial decisions to settle matters.

It is also quite common that in difficult economic and labour market conditions that there is an increase in unfair dismissal claims.

MEA has already noted a spike in claims and as such we strongly encourage members to speak to the Workplace Relations Team prior to dismissing workers. Even in the most seemingly clear-cut circumstances, an impartial view from subject matter experts can help you in greatly improving your ability to defend a claim.

The Team regularly assists members with their approach to consultation, selection criteria and process of redundancies. It also assists members preparing for dismissals for performance and/or conduct reasons.

If you have need assistance please contact the Workplace Relations Team on 1300 889 198.

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