Summary dismissal

Dismissal from employment from the instant that the employer states that the employee is discharged, i.e. being fired without notice. In the event of a summary dismissal, wages are only paid up until the point of the employer’s notification of dismissal.

Summary dismissal is only lawful in very select circumstances, where it is unreasonable for employment to continue.

These may include where an employee:

  • Has refused to obey a lawful order
  • Has been negligent in performing their duties
  • Engages is willful or deliberate behavior inconsistent with the employment contract
  • Engages in conduct causing imminent and serious risk to health, safety, or the employer’s reputation, viability, or profitability
  • Commits a theft
  • Engages in fraud
  • Commits assault
  • Is intoxicated at work
  • Is guilty of other misconduct

Many industry employment awards contain provisions about summary dismissal. The Workplace Relations Act (Cth) similarly includes protections relating to summary dismissal.