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Ask Daniel Your Own Question
Daniel, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 4869
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (dist) Graduate Diploma in Legal Practise. Admitted NSW Supreme Court / High Court
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I just wanted some advice on something. I apologise lenght.

Customer Question

Hi, I just wanted some advice on something. I apologise for the lenght. Last year I was terminated in the last couple of days of my probabtion period. No reason was given other then it was not working out. I'd performed quite well, so it came as a complete surprise. I was aware the Manager of my area personally didn't like me, but I thought my performance would out way any of his personal dislike for me. Given I was still within probabtion, albeit about 2 days, I was unable to pursue unfair dismissal.
About 4 weeks out from my dismissal I had informed this Manager that I was being medicated for Anxiety and Depression. I don't believe this is why I was terminated however I went into quite a severe case of depression with the termination. I don't think the company handled it right.
At no stage did this Manager offer any help when I let him know. I had let him know in good faith. It had not affected my work, but I thought he should be aware. However he continued to alienate me. With the termination, I was on the road working when he called me to let me know. Knowing my mental state, I question why he would do this knowing I would more then likely require some support. He told me that I could continue to work for a week, and that he'd organise a meeting to handover everything. I couldn't work, I struggled to tell my family. I ended up in therapy, and on stronger medication. I told my wife I was leaving her and the kids as I felt a failure. I ended up not leaving but we moved back to our home town 3 hours away. I struggled with the thought of getting more work, and only started casual work early this year. I have only just started applying for full time work. This has caused massive financial pressure on us, which in turn is not helping my illness.
I reached out to the company trying to find answers but they never gave me a reply. They ran the R U OK? campaign, which was obviously lip service to tick boxes. I contacted R U OK? but never heard back. Obviously their funding is depandant on companies running the campaign.
Where does a companies duty of care lay in these circumstances. The way they left me out to dry is appalling. The fact they were well aware of my mental illness, but chose to ring me shows a complete lack of understanding. They should have called me in, sat me down, had some trained people available. Instead I recieved a call, HR were not involved at any stage, and I was met at a coffee shop a few days later so I could hand my stuff over. Never was I asked how I was. The issues I have experience over the last 9 months could have easily been avoided if they'd acted appropriately.
I am reluctant to pursue this, but this hasn't just affected me. I need some closure. I don't want unfair dismissal, I can accept that they might not have thought I was the right fit for them. I however want them to recognise that how they handled my situation, given my illness, was unacceptable. Surely companies have a duty of care in these circumstances.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Daniel replied 3 months ago.

Sadly there is no right for appeal.

you were on probation and thus fair work Australia cannot assist.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Daniel,
I am unsure if you fully read my initial email. I am not looking at unfair dismissal or right for appeal.
I am asking what the Duty of Care is for a company when terminating an employee whom has advised them previously of mental illness. Is there any avenue for compensation given how my termination was conducted.
I would be dissappointed if I have to pay $98 for this response.
Expert:  Daniel replied 3 months ago.

I understand that you are disappointed, but the advice is correct.
The only avenue of appeal is unfair dismissal and the like in fair work, that is the changes to the law which prohibit any claim.

I have fully read your email. It pains me to say it, but there are no other avenues available to you.

It would be remiss of me to give you other advice, which is just false, giving you false hope in turn.

Expert:  Daniel replied 3 months ago.

I have not received a response?
I wish to help you.

Expert:  Daniel replied 3 months ago.

I have not received a response?
I wish to help you.