Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Applicant resigned and was not dismissed

The Commission has dismissed an unfair dismissal application made by a pharmacy employee who alleged that her employment was terminated at the initiative of her employer.

The Commission turned to the fundamental question, going to the Commission’s jurisdiction in dealing with unfair dismissal matters, of whether the applicant was dismissed or voluntarily resigned from the employment.

Commissioner Walkington considered the claim central to the applicant’s contention, that she felt pressured to resign after her employer had threatened to “make her life a living hell”. However, the Commissioner found that the statement was not made because the applicant did not test the conflicting evidence of their employer during cross examination. Walkington C then found that the applicant was given the opportunity to reflect and consider the options given to her and was not threatened by her employer to resign there and then. Finally, Walkington C noted that the respondent did not treat the applicant’s resignation as being of immediate effect as an agreement had been made with the applicant for her to work out her notice, and, during this time, the applicant did not raise with her employer that she had changed her mind or wished that her resignation be revoked.

The Commission determined on the threshold issue finding that the applicant resigned from her employment and consequently ordered that the application be dismissed.

The decision can be read here.

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