I first came across the “unfair dismissal” in the mid 1980’s. However, it was in a unionised environment, and the unions used the dispute notification mechanism within the legislation of the time. Whilst at VECCI, in the mid to late 1990’s, a large part of my budget was derived by defending employers against such claims under the new 1996 Act. The hard part was advising employers of the “commercial reality of “settling” such claims (ie pay blood money or legal costs – your choice).


But my overall fascination is why a person would put themselves through the stress and potential reputational harm by using this facility, instead of just “moving on”. The only answer is the “no-win, no-fee lawyers” spruiking such services. [Hint to potential applicants: most of the money goes to the lawyers].


Unfair dismissal claims 1997 to 2014


Year Ending Applications Legislation (Commonwealth)
1997 10621 Workplace Relations Act 1996
1998 8092  
1999 8146  
2000 7498  
2001 8109  
2002 7461  
2003 7171  
2004 7024  
2005 6707 Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005
2006 5758  
2007 5173  
2008 6067  
2009 7994  
2010 14366 Fair Work Act 2009
2011 14342  
2012 14027  
2013 14818 Fair Work Amendment Act 2012
2014 14797 Fair Work Amendment Act 2013
TOTAL 168,171 “That’s $16,817,100,000 folks”


I am more than happy to provide advice on such matters, to avoid your organisation becoming an “unfair dismissal” statistic.

Greg Reiffel Industrial Relations & Human Resources Consulting has been providing the following services to businesses for over 30 years:


  • General HR and IR advisory service.
  • Fair Work Commission representation (eg unfair dismissals, adverse actions, etc.).
  • Workplace investigations and mediations.
  • Policies and procedures.
  • Discipline & Termination.
  • People Audits (are you at risk of prosecution?).
  • Enterprise Agreements, Contracts of Employment, Individual Flexibility Agreements.
  • On-site HR services.

Contact Greg on 0438 906 050 or mailto: greg@gregreiffelconsulting.com.au.