There have been a number of recent cases where unfair dismissal has been lodged and the employer has failed to appear. Having no evidence from the “employer’s side”, the FWC has no choice but to accept the story of the ex-employee “unchallenged. The maximum penalty for an unfair dismissal is 26 weeks.


Matter 1

  • A 4th year apprentice who had been employed for 12 months and had previous warnings for lateness and absences.
  • He allegedly advised his employer beforehand that he to have major dental treatment.
  • On return to work the employee was sacked.
  • The employee subsequently lodged an Unfair Dismissal claim.
  • Employer failed to appear, despite being made aware of the proceedings.
  • Awarded maximum under FWA – 26 weeks.
  • Appeal by employer. Appeal lost. Employer to pay 26 weeks and most likely costs.


Matter 2


  • Employee terminated by email for alleged actions involving company property, company car and general performance issues.
  • No submissions filed or appearance by the employer despite many attempts at contact.
  • Evidence of applicant accepted. Found no valid reason for dismissal. No warning or discussion prior to termination email. Employee not notified of reason for dismissal or given opportunity to respond.
  • Employer ordered to pay employer $16,250.


Matter 3


  • Employer did not appear at hearing despite multiple notifications by both email and telephone.
  • Applicant has made reasonable attempts to mitigate loss.
  • Commission found more likely than not that the applicant would have continued in employment with the respondent for prolonged period had he not been unfairly dismissed.
  • Compensation in amount of statutory cap (26 weeks) to be paid to applicant.


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: