I'm in Sydney, Australia. I was dismissed after less than 4 months working for this company, my probation period was set for 6 months. The thing is, I was hired as a software developer, but after a bit more than a month they asked me to act temporarily in a different role, as a business analyst, which I had never done before. They really needed it, I naively accepted it trying to help. During this time I was put in a very difficult position having to work in site with their client and having to perform as an experienced BA. Note that I also had never worked for insurance industry before. To make things worse I didn't have much support from my superiors, neither from co-workers, only demands and sarcasm when I most needed help.

After dedicating myself doing extra hours, I was fired today, the other BA that was on maternity leave will be back on Monday. I asked for one reason for my dismiss and I rudely got a "For a number of reasons" but nothing explicitly pointed out.

I have a 2.y.o daughter and wife to support, felt like rubbish and betrayed. I read that I am not eligible for an unfair dismissal as I had to be working for at least 6 months for them, but is there anything else that can be done? I felt used and treated unfairly.

My concern also is searching for another job and having to either lie about my previous employment or how can I explain all of that? All they will think is "He didn't pass probation". I feel very stressed and wronged. I really could make use of some advice.

Thank you.

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    At least according to Worker Rights in Australia, you can't claim unfair dismissal unless you were employed for six months. That said, I am not a lawyer, you need to talk to an actual lawyer. Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 10:05

2 Answers 2


Regarding unfair dismissal, you really don't have much of an option there. If it's a large business, the cut-off period is 6 months.

There is a legal concept that you may find helpful though.

If they hired you as an employee, with no intention of allowing your employment to continue past probationary period despite how well you may perform, you can make an argument that they didn't conduct themselves in good faith.

Basically there is an overarching principal in employment law that both employees and employers act in good faith. You may make an argument that your employer lied to you about the nature of your employment, and you suffered some loss as a result of their deception. The fact that your role was the same as someone who was returning from maternity leave may help support this.

They may make an argument that there was no deception, and that you shouldn't have expected employment to continue. The counter to that is they could have offered you a short-term contract, but you would not have accepted a short-term contract as you need stability.

Being able to prove this in a civil court however, will take time and effort, and to be honest, you probably don't have great hopes. And even if you do win, you probably won't get much money, won't get your job back, and it wouldn't change the fact you didn't pass probation. It is a civil claim, not an unfair dismissal claim. Your best bet would be to speak to a legal professional about this.

Otherwise, you really should look at moving on with the next chapter with your life.

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    When you look for another job, describe this one as a short term contract. That's what it was, even though you didn't know it when you signed on. Explain how it was an opportunity to learn a lot about "business analyst" work.
    – O. Jones
    Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 10:44

Sorry to hear about this, and also I can't offer any legal advice.

My concern also is searching for another job and having to either lie about my previous employment or how can I explain all of that?

Just be honest and tell them that you were pushed into a completely different job for which you were unqualified. They way you tell it sounds like a classic "Bait And Switch", especially as their BA returns next week. Maybe they were contractually obliged to provide somebody and for whatever reason chose not to use a contractor.

[I] felt like rubbish and betrayed. ... but is there anything else that can be done? I felt used and treated unfairly.

This happens from time to time, unless you're lucky. Based on your post, they have betrayed your trust and treated you unfairly. Some people are just unpleasant like that, although they will probably tell it as "acting in the best interests of their company". Talk it out with your wife, buddies, and other developers. Get the anger out of your system and look for another job.

It's lucky you found out now what they're like, rather than after investing a couple of years of your life.

  • Thanks a lot for your consideration! I really need to get it out of my system asap and move on. I will maybe talk to a lawyer, but I'm not sure if I can prove anything at the end. I had to immediately leave, I have no access anymore to any information. At the end I just wanted to be treated fairly, then I got worse than being recognised by my efforts. Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 10:39

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