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Unfair Dismissals | General Protections Dismissals | Unlawful Terminations

Who is eligible for unlawful termination?

An unlawful termination is available to workers who are not covered by National System Employees (NSE) and are therefore not eligible to make a General Protections claim under the Fair Work Act.

For example:

  • state government employees in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia
  • local government employees in Queensland, New South Wales and also South Australia
  • workers who are NSE but are not eligible to make General Protections claims, can also make a claim for unlawful termination.

What is an unlawful termination?

An unlawful termination happens when your employer dismisses you for:

  • temporary absence from work because of illness or injury
  • trade union membership or participation in trade union activities outside working hours (or during working hours with the employer’s consent)
  • non-membership of a trade union
  • seeking office as, or acting or having acted in the capacity of, an employee representative
  • the filing of a complaint, or the participation in proceedings, against the employer involving alleged violation of laws or regulations or recourse to competent administrative authorities
  • race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin
  • absence from work during maternity leave or other parental leave
  • temporary absence from work for the purpose of engaging in a voluntary emergency management activity

An unlawful termination also happens if you are sacked for your:

  • skin colour
  • race
  • national extraction or social origin
  • sex
  • sexuality
  • gender identity
  • age
  • physical or mental disability
  • relationship status
  • family or carer’s responsibilities
  • pregnancy
  • religion
  • political opinion




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LAST UPDATED: February 2022

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