Can a casual employee claim unfair dismissal?

Eligibility criteria for unfair dismissal

In Australia, casual employees can claim unfair dismissal if they meet certain eligibility criteria. Unfair dismissal claims are generally governed by the Fair Work Act 2009, which provides protections for eligible employees. To be eligible to make an unfair dismissal claim, a casual employee must meet the following criteria.

Employment period

The employee must have completed the minimum employment period. This generally requires at least 6 months of continuous service with the same employer. However, there are exceptions to this rule, so it's essential to consult the Fair Work Commission or seek legal advice if you have concerns about your eligibility.

Earning threshold

The employee must earn less than the high-income threshold, which is periodically adjusted. If a casual employee earns more than this threshold, they may not be eligible to claim unfair dismissal.

Small business exemption

If the employer is a small business (with fewer than 15 employees), the unfair dismissal laws may not apply. Small businesses have different rules and eligibility criteria for unfair dismissal claims.

It's important to note that casual employees have specific considerations when it comes to unfair dismissal claims. The nature of casual employment means that it may not always be straightforward to determine continuous service, and various factors can influence eligibility. 

Can a casual employee claim unfair dismissal?

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