Unfair dismissal; the right to defend

In unfair dismissal cases, a failure or refusal by an employer to afford a dismissed employee a fair and reasonable opportunity to defend himself or herself will be fatal.

“An employee protected from unfair dismissal should be provided with an opportunity to respond to any reason for their dismissal relating to their conduct or capacity. This criterion is to be applied in a common sense way to ensure the employee is treated fairly and should not be burdened with formality. RMIT v Asher (2010) 194 IR 1 at 14-15”


Ryan v Zalcom Pty Ltd T/A Zalcom (2017) FWC 2499 delivered 5 May 2017 per Saunders C