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Ask Sean Your Own Question
Sean, Experienced lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 855
Experience:  Law degree with 1st class honours from Australian National University.
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We work in an Aboriginal Community as Managers of a Garage.

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We work in an Aboriginal Community as Managers of a Garage. Our contract had run out in April but the Chairman of the Committe which runs the Garage sacked us without reason saying that we were working on the APY Lands illegally. He is responsible for cancelling 2 Directors meetings in February and March when our contract was to be renewed.

We know that the real reason for our dismissal is because we registered a complaint that he was taking from the business - giving cars to family members, asking for book-up or credit and expecting free fuel and other expenses to be paid by the Garage - which is against the corporations rules. We are governed by ORIC.

The recorded minutes of the last Directors meeting state how my husband and I took the Garage from 37,000 in assest to nearly 800,000 and that the business was in a very healthy position, how the Chairman purchased a car for a family member, then sacked us without reason. All Directors but one signed for our dismissal, but then told us straight after the meeting that they had been bullied. Four of the nine have since resigned from the Committee.

Our notice runs out next Saturday. We have contacted 5 lawyers but none have returned our calls. Can you help please?


The Community want us to stay and are trying to get a meeting happening but I fear it may be too late. We would stay if we could.


Good evening. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would be happy to help you with your situation.

So that I can understand your situation better, can you tell me what the status of your engagement was? Were you employees, or were you engaged as contractors?

If you have an electronic copy of your agreement you could upload it so I can take a look at it for you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Sean

We are employees

We replied to you with scanned email of contract

Dont know if you received it as we had to use different computer

Ok great thank you. I didn't receive the contract. Would you be able to upload it?

Here is how you attach a document:

First type some text, anything - just a few words. Then highlight the words with your mouse.

Once you have done that, click the chain icon between the happy smiley face and the tree.

A pop up window will open. The first line should say Link URL. At the end of it there is a little square icon with a blue line at the top.

Click it and an attachment upload box will pop up.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok great, I got it - thank you.

Fortunately, as employees, you have a fair amount of protection here. The main protection you have is under the adverse action provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Under these provisions, it is unlawful for an employer to take adverse action against an employee because they report something like this relating to their employment. Adverse action would include terminating their employment.

So your employer is in breach of these provisions and you can both bring a claim in Fair Work Australia seeking reinstatement or compensation.

If you bring a claim in FWA, the first thing that will happen is there will be a conciliation where a Commissioner helps you all settle the dispute. This is like a talk fest in front of a Commissioner.

Also, under clause 21 of your contract there is a dispute resolution provisions where both parties are required to come together to make a genuine effort to settle the dispute. You can say that their termination will not be valid until they have complied with this clause and had a meeting to discuss it. If they don't you will bring a claim in FWA.

What do you think about this course of action?
Sean and other Australia Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for this advice, it sounds like the best course of action and it certainly puts our minds at ease.


Steve and Sue

Wonderful, I'm glad to hear that. All the best with this, and please come back again if you have any further questions.

And thank you for the positive rating :-)