Unfair dismissal, age and length of service

One of the important factors which the Fair Work Commission considers in determining whether a dismissal is relevantly unfair is the employee’s age and length of service.

“I consider that the following matters are relevant to my consideration of whether the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable.

As noted by Vice President Lawler in Sexton v Pacific National (ACT) Pty Ltd:12

“Relevantly advanced age and long service can render harsh a termination that would not be harsh in the case of identical conduct by a younger person with relatively short service. Nevertheless, age and length of service simply remain a factor to be taken to account in considering whether the termination was harsh, unjust or unreasonable and in applying the principle of a “fair go all round.”

Umerez v Flanders Electric of Australia Pty Ltd T/A Flanders of Australia (2021) FWC 1217 delivered 5 March 2021 per Hunt C