Employment can end for many different reasons. An employee may resign or can be dismissed (fired). However it ends, it’s important to follow the rules about dismissal, notice and final pay.
For a quick overview of ending employment, watch the Fair Work Ombudsman's (FWO) short video to understand how employment ends, when notice needs to be given and how much.
There are also different rights and obligations when a job is made redundant or when a business is bankrupt.
Test your knowledge on ending employment in the termination section of the FWO Workplace Basics quiz .
In this section...
The FWO's Notice and Redundancy Calculator calculates entitlements when employment ends, including:
- notice to be given (by employer or employee)
- redundancy pay
You can find out how much notice and redundancy pay is required under your award or under the National Employment Standards (NES).
A notice period is the length of time that an employee or employer has to give to end employment.
Use the FWO's Notice and Redundancy Calculator to calculate notice and redundancy entitlements.
- Dismissal - how much notice? to find out how much notice an employer must give
- Resignation - how much notice? to find out how much notice an employee must give
- Who doesn't get notice? to find out when notice periods apply.
Unfair dismissal is when an employee is dismissed from their job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner.
The Fair Work Commission decides on cases of unfair dismissal.
Redundancy happens when an employer either:
- doesn't need an employee’s job to be done by anyone, or
- becomes insolvent or bankrupt.
Redundancy can happen when the business:
- introduces new technology (eg. the job can be done by a machine)
- slows down due to lower sales or production
- closes down
- relocates interstate or overseas
- restructures or reorganises because a merger or takeover happens.
For a quick overview of what redundancy is, watch the FWO's short video to understand when redundancy occurs and who is eligible.
Sometimes businesses shut down because they aren't profitable or run out of money. This can mean that employees lose their jobs, and in some cases, the employer may not able to pay them the wages and entitlements they are owed.
When a business is bankrupt, also known as going into liquidation or insolvency, employees can get help through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG).
The FEG, previously known as the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme or GEERS, is available to eligible employees to help them get their unpaid entitlements. This can include:
- wages – up to 13 weeks of unpaid wages (capped at the FEG maximum weekly wage)
- annual leave
- long service leave
- payment in lieu of notice of termination – maximum of 5 weeks
- redundancy pay – up to 4 weeks per full year of service.
It doesn’t include:
- reimbursement payments
- one-off or irregular payments
- bonus payments
- non-ongoing or irregular commissions.
The FWO's website can provide further help with ending employment.
Need more information?
For further information, advice or assistance please contact the ABCC at 1800 003 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.