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We understand the challenges employers encounter with General Protection & Adverse Action Claims. Our experienced legal team is prepared to offer specialised advice and strong representation to effectively manage these complex situations. We are dedicated to guiding you through every phase of this nuanced process, ensuring you have the necessary support and resources to appropriately respond to these claims.

Karena Nicholls

Karena Nicholls

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General Protection Laws

General protection laws protect workplace rights which protect most people from:

  • Harmful (adverse) action
  • Coercion
  • Undue influence or pressure
  • Misrepresentation

The majority of disputes related to general protection revolve around adverse actions. In such instances, employees are required to demonstrate their eligibility to file a claim and present evidence indicating that adverse actions have been taken against them for reasons prohibited by law. These General Protection and Adverse Action provisions serve to safeguard workplace rights, preserve freedom of association, and offer protection against discrimination, along with remedies for those who have experienced discrimination.

Limitations to lodging General Protection & Adverse Action Claims

An application for a general protection claim must be lodged within 21 days from the date of dismissal and employers must respond to any such application within 7 days. There may be an exemption to the time limitations in exceptional circumstances. To ascertain whether you fit within the limitation period or can apply for an exemption, please contact Coutts so we can provide assistance and clarify your position.

IMPORTANT: An employee can only bring one claim either through unfair dismissal or general protections/adverse action.

What is the difference between General Protection and Adverse Action claims?

General Protections include protecting the employees:

  • Workplace rights
  • Freedom of association
  • Right to work free from workplace discrimination
  • Right to work free from illegal contracting
  • Treatment as a result of temporary absence from work due to illness or injury

Adverse Action means that an employer cannot adversely take action against an employee who has exercised a workplace right or proposes to exercise that workplace right. These actions include:

  • Dismissing the employee
  • Depriving the employee of legal entitlements
  • Offering differential terms and conditions in comparison to other employees in the same or similar position

What to Expect with Coutts Lawyers

Step 1: Initial Contact

Reach out to Coutts Lawyers via our website, phone, or in person. Briefly describe your matter.

Step 2: Consultation Appointment

Schedule and attend a meeting with a Coutts lawyer / Conveyancer to discuss the specifics of your matter and desired outcomes.

Step 3: Information & Legal Advice

Share all related documents and information. Your lawyer / Conveyancer will review everything, clarify aspects as needed, and then advise on the best action course.

Step 4: Action Plan Development

Based on the advice, an appropriate action plan will be formulated. This may involve communication, documentation processes, or further legal steps.

Step 5: Implementation

Execute the action plan, addressing a range of legal scenarios as necessary.

Step 6: Resolution & Closure

Navigate towards a resolution, with the path determined by the nature of the matter. Your Lawyer / Conveyancer will outline any final actions or considerations.

Book Your General Protection & Adverse Action Consultation Now

Introducing Karena

Your Compassionate Lawyer

Meet Karena, a Partner at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers, and the head of our esteemed Injury Compensation and Employment Law teams. With over two decades of experience in the field of Insurance Law, Karena’s passion, dedication, and client-focused approach have established her as a leading authority in compensation and employment law.

Karena Nicholls - Employment Expert
Karena Nicholls - Employment Expert

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General Protection & Adverse Action FAQ’s

General protection laws are designed to shield workplace rights, protecting individuals from:

  • Adverse actions or harmful actions
  • Coercion or forcing someone to act in a certain way
  • Undue influence or pressure
  • Misrepresentation or presenting false information

An adverse action arises when an employer takes negative action against an employee because they have exercised a workplace right or intend to do so. Such actions can range from dismissing the employee, depriving them of legal entitlements, or providing differential terms and conditions compared to other employees in similar roles.

General Protections predominantly focus on safeguarding employees’ rights in the workplace, their freedom of association, shielding them from workplace discrimination, sham contracting, and unjust treatment arising from temporary absences due to illness or injury. Conversely, Adverse Action specifically deals with negative actions taken by employers against employees who have or plan to exercise their workplace rights.

Individuals have a 21-day window post-dismissal to submit a general protection claim. Employers, on the other hand, must furnish a response within 7 days of receiving such an application. While these timelines are strict, exemptions might be considered under extraordinary situations.

No. An employee must choose one path, opting to lodge either an unfair dismissal claim or a general protection/adverse action claim.

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