"That’s not fair.”
My client’s assessment was spot-on, and more than a little ironic, given he was referring to the Fair Work Act. Like justice, fairness can be an elusive concept.
I had just finished explaining to my client a few home truths about Fair Work claims. The former employee he had dismissed for incompetence and repeated failure to show up to work was seeking damages for wrongful dismissal. In my view there was absolutely no merit in the claim, and I was confident we would win in court. But the exercise would still be an expensive one for my client. Even if you win a Fair Work claim, the Act precludes reimbursement of a litigant’s costs unless they can show the other party acted vexatiously or unreasonably. Which means claimants often have everything to gain and nothing to lose, even if their claim fails.