General Protections

Employees have rights in the workplace called ‘General Protections’.

These General Protection rights are protected – you can’t be treated differently or worse because you have exercised one of your rights, such as:

  • workplace rights (including minimum wages and conditions such as leave);
  • being able to take part in industrial activities (like joining a union);
  • being free from discrimination;
  • being free from undue influence or pressure when negotiating individual arrangements.

Some of the actions that employers can’t take against you include:

  • adverse action (eg dismissing you, treating you differently that others, or not hiring you);
  • coercion (pressuring you to do something);
  • misrepresentation (telling you something that isn’t true);
  • undue influence or pressure (eg agreeing, or not agreeing, to a deduction from wages).

You can make a General Protections claim at any time during your employment, or even before you start your job.  If your claim is successful, you may be entitled to compensation.

For application forms and further information, you should contact the Fair Work Commission.  It is best to seek advice before making a claim.


An application must be lodged with the Fair Work Commission within 21 days after your dismissal.  You can’t make a general protections claim and an unfair dismissal claim at the same time – you must choose one.

If you want to complain about an adverse action that happened but did not involve dismissal, then you have 6 years to make an application.