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Unfair dismissal and reinstatement applications are made to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (the Commission) in circumstances where a worker believes that they have been unfairly dismissed by their employer. These applications are governed by Division 2 of Part 2 of Chapter 8 of the Industrial Relations Act 2016.
A dismissal will be considered "unfair" if it was harsh, unjust, or unreasonable.
If you have been dismissed from your job and you believe that it was done unfairly then you may make a reinstatement application.
For a detailed guide on how to make a reinstatement application to the Commission download a copy of the Unfair dismissal and reinstatement application guide.
Generally, for unfair dismissal applications, the commission is only able to deal with dismissed Queensland state and local government employees – this includes Parent & Citizens' associations. If you were dismissed from a privately owned company, the Commonwealth Public Service, or by a state or local government of another state or territory, then you will either need to visit the website for the Fair Work Commission or the relevant state body.
It will not cost you anything to make an application for reinstatement but barristers, solicitors, medical experts, and witnesses can all incur costs which you may have to pay for at the end of the proceedings – even if you have been successful.
For reinstatement applications the "losing" party will not automatically be ordered to pay the costs of the other side – that only occurs after a further application for costs and where the commission is satisfied that:
- the party made the application or responded to the application vexatiously or without reasonable cause, or
- it would have been reasonably apparent to the party that the application or respondent to the application had no reasonable prospect of success.
Please refer to Schedule 3 the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 for further information.
Applications for reinstatement commence by filing a Form 12 – Application for reinstatement.
Form 12, and all other forms, can be filed at the Industrial Registry via the following methods:
||qirc.registry [at] qirc.qld.gov.au
|In person over the counter:
Level 21, Central Plaza Two
66 Eagle Street
Brisbane QLD 4000
GPO Box 373
Brisbane QLD 4001
||(07) 3221 6074
In most instances the Industrial Registry will communicate with you by email. If you have not provided an email address on your Form 12 then a member of the registry will be in contact with you requesting that you provide an email address. If you do not have an email address then the registry will communicate with you by post.
After your application is accepted for filing the registry will send you and your former employer (the respondent) a stamped copy of the Form 12 application and a Directions Order. The stamp will represent the date on which your document was accepted for filing. For more information about commencing an application see "Part 3: Applications to the Commission" of the Unfair dismissal and reinstatement application guide.
During the course of complying with the directions order you may participate in a number of conferences. The conferences are meant to help the parties better understand their respective positions and possibly arrive at a settlement. For more information about what to expect at a conference, and how to prepare for one, see "Part 5: Conferences" of the Unfair dismissal and reinstatement application guide.
If your matter does not settle it will proceed to a hearing. Hearings are formal and conducted in a court room. Witnesses are called, documents are tendered as evidence, and parties make submissions. For more information about a hearing, and how to prepare for one, see "Part 7: Hearings" of the Unfair dismissal and reinstatement application guide.
You must ensure that all oral evidence, documentation and/or other material on which you intend to rely at the hearing is ready to be presented at the hearing. Any documentation/material not presented at the hearing will not be "in evidence" and will not be considered by the member when deciding your application.
After the hearing has finished the member who heard your matter will write a decision with reasons for that decision. Currently members of the Commission aim to have their decisions completed within three months of the last date on which the parties appeared before the Commission.
If you disagree with the decision of the Commission in your matter, you may appeal the decision to the Industrial Court of Queensland.
If you choose to appeal the decision, you must do so within the appeal period, being 21 days from the date that the decision of the Commission was released – this date will be on the front page of the decision.
Appeals to the Industrial Court of Queensland are commenced by completing and filing a Form 5 - Application to appeal
For more information about appealing a decision of the Commission, see "Part 9: Appealing a decision of the Commission" of the Workers' compensation appeal guide.
Below are some of the forms you will need for your unfair dismissal and reinstatement application. Alternatively, visit our forms webpage for all forms.
Last updated 29 September 2020