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FWC Reports Huge Increase in Unfair Dismissal Cases

The Fair Work Commission has reported a dramatic increase of almost 20% in applications overall between March and June 2020, with unfair dismissals increasing by 43% against the same period last year.

Whilst unfair dismissal cases usually make up almost half of all applications received by the FWC for intervention totalling 49% of all applications or 16,558 applications.

The full breakdown of applicants lodged with the FWC was:-

  • Unfair dismissal – 16,558
  • General protections specifically involving dismissal – 4,823
  • Agreement approvals – 3,795
  • Dispute resolution – 2,255
  • Right of entry – 1,128
  • Other types of general protections – 1,050
  • Other types of agreements – 931
  • Industrial action – 922
  • Stop bullying orders – 820
  • JobKeeper – 544
  • Bargaining – 310
  • Appeals – 221
  • Registered organisations – 192
  • Other matters – 440

With the introduction of JobKeeper, the Fair Work Commission has also faced a large number of dispute applications and even with the increasing numbers of all applications received, report that 84% of these cases are finalised within 4 days of lodgement, with 97% completed within 14 days.

The types of applications submitted regarding JobKeeper disputes included:-

  • Wage condition or minimum payment guarantee – 44
  • JobKeeper enabling stand down – 72
  • Duties of work – 20
  • Location of work – 12
  • Days, times of work etc. – 68
  • Taking paid annual leave – 61
  • Secondary employment, training for professional development – 7
  • Matters that appear to be outside – 363

These statistics should remind all employers that regardless of a worldwide pandemic and unprecedented times, your ongoing obligations under the Fair Work Act continue to apply.The Fair Work Commission will continue to process every application received and have evidenced their ability to do so regardless of the increases in applications received.

For assistance with understanding your obligations regarding termination, pay and entitlements, please contact us at [email protected] or 1300 720 004.

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