General Protections Claims

General Protections Claims



General Protections Claims

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FWA) provides protection for employees who have a workplace right, exercise their workplace rights or proposes to exercise their rights and prevents an employer from taking adverse action against the employee.

Workplace Rights

A work place right has a broad definition. A person has a workplace right if they:

  • have an entitlement under a workplace law or instrument, such as an award or enterprise agreement;
  • are able to initiate a proceeding under a workplace law or workplace instrument; or
  • are able to make a complaint or inquiry in relation to their employment.

Adverse Action

An adverse action includes dismissing or refusing to employ someone, discriminating against them, or otherwise injuring them in their employment. An example of this is a demotion or a reduction of ordinary work hours.

Industrial Activities

All employers, employees and contractors are free to join (or not) join trade unions or employer associations and engage or not engage in industrial activities. Adverse action cannot follow as a result of participation or non-participation in industrial activities.


Adverse action cannot be taken against an employee or potential employee because of their race, colour, sexual orientation, sex, age, disability, marital status, pregnancy, family/carer responsibilities, religion, political views, social origin or national extraction.

Who Do General Protections Laws Apply To?

These laws apply to the following:

  • employees and potential employees
  • employers and potential employers
  • contractors and potential contractors
  • a person who has entered into or who has proposed to enter into a contract for services with a contractor
  • an industrial association

What is a General Protection Claim?

There are two main types of claims:

  1. Disputes – this applies if an employee has not been dismissed but believes there has been another contravention of the general protections provisions.
  2. Dismissals – this applies when an employee has been dismissed and believe the dismissal was in contravention of the general protections provisions. An employee must lodge a claim within 21 days of the date the dismissal takes effect or may lose the right to do so.

How can a claim be made?

If an employee believes they have been subject to a general protections breach, they can lodge a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).

An employee can also apply to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) who also deals with complaints under the general protections provisions.

If there has been an apparent or alleged contravention of the general protections under the FWA, or a complaint has been made, contact our office today to see how we can assist you with your employment law matter.

Aitken Whyte Lawyers – Brisbane Solicitors

Disputes relating to employment and general protections

If you are already in a dispute, a threat is apparent to your rights, need to know what your rights are or urgently need to representation, Aitken Whyte Lawyers will provide you with commercial and practical advice and aggressive but fair representation to protect and pursue your valuable rights and interests. We are focused on results, have significant experience in fighting litigation in all tribunals, commissions and courts and offer services second to none.

Office Location and Contact Details


Aitken Whyte Lawyers Brisbane
2/414 Upper Roma Street
Brisbane QLD 4000

Ph: 07 3229 4459
Fax: +617 3211 9311