Before using Bumpd, please read this page carefully. It contains:

  • a simple outline of the unfair dismissal process;
  • an explanation of where Bumpd fits in and how it works; and
  • a summary of different legal options that might be available to you.

Bumpd does not provide legal advice, and our website and our app are not a substitute for legal advice. If you can, we recommend that you obtain legal advice on your specific circumstances.

I’ve lost my job – what can I do?

Pregnancy and parenting-related discrimination is unlawful in Australia, but it continues to happen every day. Losing your job at this sensitive time can be extremely stressful. It can help to know that you are not alone, and you can do something about it.

You may be able to take legal action if you’ve lost your job, and you think it was because:

  • you became pregnant;
  • you requested or took maternity/paternity/parental leave; or
  • you had parenting or caring responsibilities when you returned to work after having a baby (e.g. needing to breastfeed, express milk, or take sick/carer’s leave to look after your child).

This applies whether your employment ended because you were fired or you were forced to resign. It also includes where you were made redundant, but you don’t think it was a genuine redundancy (e.g. it was a sham or fake redundancy to cover up the real reason your employer wanted you to leave).

If this sounds like you, Bumpd can help you to make an unfair dismissal application at the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

*The FWC is an impartial Commonwealth government agency that specialises in helping to resolve employment-related disputes.

What can I get from an unfair dismissal claim?

Around 16,000 unfair dismissal applications are lodged in Australia each year. Many of those applications seek monetary compensation. The typical settlement amount (assuming a genuine claim) is usually equal to a number of weeks’ pay, and less than $10,000. We know every bit counts when you’ve lost your job and have a new child.

It’s also possible to ask to have your job back, if you still want it.

Another important reason people choose to take legal action is to stand up for their rights and not let their employer get away with it. People with young children in particular often feel they should do this so that hopefully their children can grow up in a more equal world.

Legal action inevitably requires time and effort. The first step is to complete the Form F2 (unfair dismissal application) as required by the Fair Work Commission. Without expertise and experience, this can be time consuming, stressful and mentally overwhelming, things you don’t need more of during this difficult period. Bumpd makes this easier and lightens the load, by automating the process of organising your case and presenting it effectively in your unfair dismissal application.

Also, with the unfair dismissal process:

  • You don’t have to go to court. The process is run through the Fair Work Commission.
  • You don’t have to hire a lawyer.
  • It’s a relatively quick process. The median time period between lodgment of an unfair dismissal application to the ‘conciliation’ stage (see below) is 34 days.
  • Even if you lose, as a general rule you won’t have to pay your employer’s legal costs.

It’s important to note that around 91% of unfair dismissal claims are resolved before the final ‘decision’ stage (see below). Assuming you have a genuine claim, the statistics show that making that initial effort of preparing and submitting an unfair dismissal claim gives you a good chance of receiving some form of compensation. It’s also statistically unlikely you will need to ‘go all the way’ to a formal decision being made by the Fair Work Commission.

The unfair dismissal process

Unfair dismissal claims generally follow these steps. You and your employer can agree to a settlement at any time before the final ‘decision’ stage. You can also withdraw your application at any stage if you do not wish to continue.

1. Dismissal occurs: This could be a redundancy, firing or forced resignation.
Then, within 21 days of your last day...
2. Submit unfair dismissal application to FWC: Bumpd will help you complete this step. While Bumpd is free to use, the FWC charges a $74.90 application fee. This can be waived if paying the fee would cause you serious hardship. 
3. FWC sends application to your employer: Your employer has the opportunity to respond and submit any jurisdictional objections (i.e. technical legal process points). 
4. FWC sends notice of conciliation to you and your employer: This will include the date and time of the conciliation, and phone details (normally conciliations are conducted over the phone). 
5. Conciliation: A FWC conciliator will facilitate a confidential discussion between you and your employer, and try to help you and your employer agree on a resolution to the issue. The conciliator is independent and won’t take sides. 
6. Conference: If no agreement is reached at the conciliation, a FWC member will conduct a conference with you and your employer to hear everyone's side of the story. 
7. Decision: The FWC member will often give their decision at the conclusion of the conference, or otherwise in writing at a later date.

How to use Bumpd

Bumpd makes it easy to prepare and submit an unfair dismissal application.

Complete a questionnaire

Bumpd will guide you through a series of questions to understand your circumstances.

Review a draft application

Based on your responses to the questions, Bumpd will automatically generate a draft unfair dismissal application in the required legal form that you can privately and confidentially review and edit.

Bumpd takes care of the rest!

Once you are happy with the details of the application, you can upload it to Bumpd. Bumpd will then file your application directly with the Fair Work Commission for you. Click here for a summary of what happens next.

Beta version: Bumpd is currently in a testing phase. During this phase, a real human lawyer will be conducting some manual checks (as described in our Terms of Use). As a result, it may take up to 24 hours from the time you complete the questionnaire to when you receive the draft unfair dismissal application, and up to 24 hours from the time you ask us to submit your application to the Fair Work Commission to when we actually do. The sole intended purpose of these checks are to optimise our app’s automation system. These checks are not intended to constitute legal advice to you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Is this my best option?

We believe there are several advantages to pursuing an unfair dismissal application:

  • Bumpd can support you free of charge to prepare and submit the application.
  • The entire process is designed so that lawyers are not required.
  • Even if you lose, you generally won’t have to pay your employer’s legal costs (other than in very limited circumstances such as if the claim was vexatious or had no reasonable chance of success).

However, other legal pathways could be open to you. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, and an unfair dismissal claim may not be the most suitable for you. If successful, you may be able to get higher compensation through other pathways (although pursuing those other pathways might also mean you need to obtain and pay for legal advice). Choosing one pathway may also stop you choosing another pathway later on.

The law in this area is complicated, involving multiple overlapping laws at a State and Commonwealth level. We’ve included below a general comparison of these options, but note our summary is highly simplified. If you can, we recommend speaking to a lawyer to go through the details.

 Unfair dismissalGeneral protectionsDiscrimination (federal)Discrimination (state)
Claim typeYour dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonableYour employer took adverse action against you because of a protected reasonYou were discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy, potential pregnancy, breastfeeding, family responsibilities or other reasonsYou were discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy or other reasons
LawFair Work Act 2009 (Cth)Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)Relevant state/territory anti-discrimination or equal opportunity laws
Covers dismissalsYesYesYesYes
Covers workplace discriminationNoYesYesYes
Reinstatement availableYesYesYesYes
Compensation availableYes (max 6 months' pay)YesYesYes
Time to submit claim21 days21 days (dismissals)
6 years (other)
Usually 24 monthsUsually 12 months
Application fee$74.90
Fee waiver possible
Fee waiver possible
Conciliation/mediation processYesYesYesYes
Decision maker if dispute cannot be settledFair Work CommissionFederal Circuit Court or Federal CourtFederal Circuit Court or Federal CourtState/territory-based tribunal
Are lawyers typically involved?

Note: People can be unrepresented in courts and tribunals
Risk of paying employer’s legal costs if you loseUnlikelyUnlikelyYesUnlikely
More informationFair Work CommissionFair Work CommissionAustralian Human Rights CommissionThe anti-discrimination or equal opportunity commission in your state/territory