PSAB appeal dismissed as appellant was not dismissed from employment

The Public Service Appeal Board (Board) has unanimously dismissed an appeal and found that the appellant was not dismissed from her employment, but rather that her fixed term contract had ended in accordance with the parties’ agreement.

The appellant, a government officer, was employed on a series of fixed term contracts. After her final contract ended, the appellant filed an appeal under s 80I(d) of the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA) against what she said was the respondent’s decision to dismiss her. She argued that she was unfairly dismissed because the respondent did not offer her a further fixed term contract or a permanent position.

The respondent argued that the appellant was not dismissed but was employed on a fixed term contract that came to an end by the effluxion of time. The respondent claimed there was no dismissal and the Board did not have jurisdiction to hear and determine the appellant’s appeal.

In deciding whether it had jurisdiction to hear the appeal, the Board had to determine whether the appellant was dismissed.

The Board applied relevant legal principle and found that it was not persuaded that the appellant was dismissed. It found that the failure to offer a subsequent contract was not a dismissal and that the employment ended in accordance with the final fixed term contract. The Board found that it was the effluxion of time in accordance with the parties’ agreement, and not any action on the part of the respondent, that resulted in the contract and the employment relationship ending.

The Board dismissed the appeal for want of jurisdiction.

The decision can be read here