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Australia: Termination of employment

Original and updating authors: Shana Schreier-Joffe and Dean Tolkin, Keypoint Law

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  • An open-ended contract of employment can generally be terminated by the employer or employee with notice at any time, while termination without notice may be justified if the other party has breached the contract. (See General)
  • Employees are generally entitled to statutory minimum notice of termination of their employment by the employer. (See Notice periods)
  • Where an employee is in serious breach of their obligations, an employer can generally terminate the employment relationship immediately without notice. (See Summary dismissal)
  • An employee may be entitled to resign without giving notice if the employer repudiates the contract of employment, which can include forcing an employee to resign because of conduct engaged in by the employer. (See Constructive dismissal)
  • Under federal legislation, a dismissal that is a case of "genuine redundancy" is potentially fair, while certain employees are entitled to statutory redundancy pay from their employer. (See Redundancy)
  • In general, employers cannot require employees to retire at any age and employees are free to choose when to retire. (See Retirement)
  • Certain employees may claim unfair dismissal at the statutory Fair Work Commission (FWC) under certain circumstances. (See Unfair dismissal)
  • Federal employment legislation provides protection for employees from dismissal on various prohibited grounds, such as unlawful discrimination. (See Other dismissal protection)
  • Employees are, or may be, entitled to various payments on termination of employment, and employers may be required to provide or retain certain documentation. (See Termination payments and finalising employment)
  • If the FWC finds that a dismissal was unfair, it may order the employee's reinstatement or order the employer to pay compensation to the employee. (See Contesting dismissals)