Injunctions and dismissals

The Federal Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia each has jurisdiction to grant injunctions, for example to reinstate an employee who has been dismissed unlawfully (eg in breach of the general protections), or to restrain the dismissal of an employee in the same circumstances, but there must be a primary form of relief sought which is in the substantive jurisdiction of the court; not just because it is argued to be unfair.

Here the law is summarized in an extract from a recent judgement.

“In those circumstances, of no statutory right to reinstatement and dispute as to terms of remuneration, the observations made by the learned Bromberg J in Quinn v Overland [2010] FCA 799 must be modified in relation to the ease by which one can meet the criteria of exceptional or special circumstances referred to in Byrne v Australian Airlines Ltd (1995) 185 CLR 410 at 428 for the granting of an interlocutory injunction to compel the continuation of an employment relationship. These were matters that the Court raised with counsel for the applicant at the outset, and counsel for the applicant was invited to have a short period of adjournment to consider the current proceedings, which was a sensible and appropriate course for counsel for the applicant to take. Counsel for the applicant responsibly informed the Court that, in the circumstances, the application for an injunction would not be pressed, but foreshadowed a desire to seek directions for timetabling of pleadings and also a desire to have overviewed potential investigation in respect of alleged misconduct and matters that might be the subject of steps taken by the respondents.”

McIntosh v Camilla Australia Pty Ltd (201) FCCA 239 delivered 2 February 2018 per Street J