Your employer can sack you for poor performance, but the dismissal may be unfair if your performance was not discussed with you first.
A fair dismissal process generally includes:
- giving you a reason why you are at risk of being dismissed—the reason must be valid and based on your conduct or capacity to do the job
- giving you a warning verbally, or preferably in writing, clearly stating that you risk being dismissed if there is no improvement in your performance
- giving you an opportunity to respond to the warning and giving you a reasonable chance to rectify the problem (this might involve doing additional training)
- giving you the opportunity to have another person present to help you—if your employer is a small business (less than 15 employees) this person cannot be a lawyer acting in a professional capacity.
What you can do
- Look at the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code to see what a fair dismissal procedure looks like.
- If you think you have been dismissed unfairly, or that your dismissal was unlawful (e.g. because of your sex or age) you can seek advice from Fair Work Australia on 1300 799 675.
- If you want to make a claim for unfair dismissal, go to the Fair Work Australia website. Don’t forget that you must lodge your claim within 14 days of being dismissed.