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The General Protections provisions under the Fair Work Act provide a variety of protections to employees from being terminated or otherwise "adversely affected" because they exercise workplace rights, engage in industrial activities or because of "protected attributes" (such as race, sex, carer responsibilities etc).

They apply to all employees, including high earners and non-Award, and unlike other protections there is a reverse onus of proof: an automatic presumption that the adverse action was taken for the reason alleged by an applicant. The onus is on the employer to prove that this isn't the case.

These types of matters can also progress, if unresolved, from the FWC to the courts, involve significant time and resources and most significantly risk the imposition of substantial remedies and civil penalties.

The FWC has received record high numbers of general protections applications in recent times. This highlights the importance for employers of being across their rights and obligations, and the risks.

This webinar provided key recommendations and practical guidance on:

  • the variety of attributes or matters which are covered under these laws;
  • how to respond to a General Protections claim;
  • what to be mindful of when addressing an employee's underperformance or misconduct;
  • the operation of the reverse onus of proof; and
  • practical tips for minimising risk.

Case studies were highlighted where employers have got it right and not-so-right and what the implications can be.


Daniel Murray, Legal Practitioner Director, Ai Group Workplace Lawyers and Principal Adviser, Workplace Relations, Ai Group

Annastasia Kyriakidis, Senior Associate, Ai Group Workplace Lawyers and Senior Adviser – Workplace Legal & Consulting, Ai Group


Terry Crotty, Regional Manager, NSW, Ai Group

PET Funding Logo
This program has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations through the Productivity, Education and Training Fund grant program.

What's next?

See what webinars we have planned in our Events Calendar.