The Industrial Relations Act contains a number of general protection provisions that provide certain protections to employees of the Queensland state or local government.
It is strongly advised that legal advice be obtained before lodging an application regarding general protections due to the complexity of the legal issues and risk of error. If you believe you have a claim you can contact us here for assistance.
There are several different types of general protections. The most common type of General Protections claim is the one involving dismissal but claims can also relate generally to:
The general protections provisions in the Industrial Relations Act 2016 protect employees and prospective employees.
There are two different types of general protections claims depending on whether the dispute involves a dismissal or not.
Note: If you are not eligible to lodge a general protections application in the Industrial Relations Commission you may be eligible to pursue a general protections claim through the Fair Work Commission. Contact us to find out more.
There are several forms of conduct that constitute adverse action. Adverse action taken by an employer includes:
If the above does not describe the situation you find yourself in, please contact us to discuss your specific circumstances.
A common general protections claim is one involving workplace rights. An employer must not take adverse action against an employee because the employee has or has exercised (or proposed to exercise) a workplace right.
For example, an employer must not dismiss an employee because the employee made a complaint about their wages and entitlements.
There are strict timeframes that apply to general protections claim involving dismissal. To proceed with a General Protections Application involving dismissal the employee must lodge their claim within 21 days of the dismissal taking effect. If you believe you are out of time it is crucial that you seek legal advice ASAP. We may be able to assist you with pursuing a General Protections claim outside of the 21 day timeframe if ‘exceptional circumstances’ exist.
For other forms of adverse action that does not involve dismissal, an application can be made to the Industrial Relations Commission within 6 years of the action occurring.
Note: Claims cannot be made for an action which occurred prior to the commencement of the general protections provisions on 1 March 2017.
Once the required form has been filed in the Industrial Registry, it will typically be forwarded to the Employer for response. The Employer must file a response to the application within 3 business days, advising whether the remedy sought by the employee is opposed and whether it agrees or disagrees with the facts detailed in the Application.
The Application will then be listed for a conciliation conference before a member of the Commission. This is an opportunity for the employer and employee to resolve the general protections dispute.
Employees can be legally represented at telephone conciliations if all parties agree or if the Commission grants leave for representation. If you require legal representation please get in touch.
If the dispute cannot be resolved at the telephone conciliation, Queensland Industrial Relations Commission member will issue a certificate to that effect and then advise on next steps. This may involve referring the matter to arbitration and hearing the application on a final basis.
If you’d like to have a quick chat to see if it looks like you have a case, then our complimentary 20-minute call option is the perfect place to start.
The information provided on this page is of a general nature only and is not to be relied upon as legal advice applicable to your specific circumstances. Specific legal advice is provided through our consultation sessions.