Termination of employment
If you are a full-time or part-time employee and are terminated from your employment, the State Fair Work Act 1994 provides a Minimum Standard for severance pay that applies when working in the state industrial relations system. Check your award or agreement for additional entitlements regarding termination.
Under most awards and agreements, full-time and part-time employees are entitled to a specified period of notice or payment instead of that notice.
Your employment contract or award should state how much notice you have to give when resigning.
If it is not written down, a general rule is the notice period should be equal to the pay period, for example if you get paid fortnightly, you should give two weeks notice.
Employees who feel they have been dismissed in a way that is harsh, unjust or unreasonable, can usually make a claim for unfair dismissal.
The law on unfair dismissal is complex and you should seek advice about your situation.
If you decide to make a claim for unfair dismissal, don’t delay. Applications must be lodged within 21 days of the dismissal (in some cases you may be given an extension of time).
Employees are also protected against unlawful termination.
Examples of unlawful termination include dismissing someone because of their:
It is also unlawful to terminate an employee’s employment if they are temporarily absent from work because of illness or injury, union involvement or non-involvement or during parental leave.
If you need more information contact SafeWork SA, the Industrial Relations Commission of South Australia or your union.
Last updated: 21 October, 2010