Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission

Unfair dismissal claim dismissed as no dismissal

The Commission has dismissed a claim of unfair dismissal after finding that the applicant was not dismissed but was given a real choice to resign and did so.

The applicant alleged that the conduct of the respondent left her no choice but to resign, giving rise to constructive dismissal. The respondent argued that the applicant was not dismissed and that she voluntarily resigned as part of the settlement of a claim under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981.

The applicant gave evidence that she accepted an offer of $70,000 to compromise her workers’ compensation claim, with a condition of settlement being she resign from her employment. She gave evidence that she refused to sign the draft letter of resignation from the respondent, and instead signed a version she amended which she felt better served her interests.

Commissioner Matthews found that the conduct of the respondent, as a matter of common-sense causation, did not lead to the applicant’s resignation. Instead, the applicant resigned to receive the offer of $70,000 in circumstances where her financial situation had become very bad. The applicant knew she had a choice as she refused to sign the draft letter until it was amended in what she considered to be her own best interests.

Commissioner Matthews found that there was no dismissal in the circumstances and consequentially found that the Commission does not have jurisdiction to hear and determine the application.

The application was dismissed by order.

The decision can be read here.

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