Unfair dismissal claims; salary limits

Both the Federal and Western Australian unfair dismissal jurisdictions are limited to dealing with cases where the annual remuneration of the affected employee exceeds a certain amount. In the Fair Work Commission, the upper limit is called the high income threshold and in August 2013 is $129,300 gross per annum. For the purposes of the application of Western Australian unfair dismissal laws the limit is called the prescribed amount and in August 2013 is $145,800 gross per annum.
For an interesting analysis of how the jurisdictional limit is calculated for the purposes of the State laws, see Rowley v BHP Billiton Iron Ore 2013 WAIRC 00581 per Kenner C in which the Commissioner decided that the starting point is the base annual salary rather than including annual add ons like a motor vehicle allowance, bonus scheme, travel assistance and housing subsidy.
The prescribed amount also plays a significant role in defining the jurisdiction of the State Commission to deal with denied contractual benefits claims, a source of powerful remedies for many employees who are even covered by the Federal system.