Your selected location:
  1. Home
  2. /
  3. HHG Articles
  4. /
  5. Happy Endings in Employment
8 Apr 2015

Employees and employers are bound together in a unique relationship and breaking up is often hard to do.  There are amicable separations, however quite often there is a fundamental breakdown of trust and confidence, sincere disappointment and even hurt.  Both parties need to survive the breakup and each has an interest in achieving a happy ending – even if it has to be manufactured.  Employers will most often be the party best equipped to offer a sensible solution.  Whenever it happens, and whatever the reason engaging legal representation will assist to remove emotion and focus on issues rather than personalities.   
A termination is better managed as a negotiation than a confrontation.
I Quit!
Resignations can disappoint an employer – an employee is an investment and a resource with valuable knowledge and their departure will often be a real loss.  Even where there is no love lost and the employer is happy to let the employee go, a sudden fear of infidelity may arise in relation to clients or competitors.  An employer may also worry about how to ensure the role is effectively handed over to a replacement without disrupting client service or team morale. 
Although the employee has now scheduled the relationship for termination there is still time to negotiate how the breakup will occur.  By offering early release from the contract or an additional payment a deal can be struck that suits all and ensures a relatively smooth transition.  A carefully crafted deed of release can enhance the existing employment contract as necessary and firm up obligations in relation to confidentiality, restraint of trade, non-disparagement, notice period, return of company property and final pay.  
You’re Fired! 
Emotions can and do run high where individuals are sacked.  The Courts recognise that employees are usually the more vulnerable party in the relationship and so will expect employers to ensure they have not abused their more powerful position.  Employees should be told what the employer is unhappy about and be given a fair chance to mend a relationship that is on the rocks.  However, where the trust and confidence is gone it isn’t surprising that despite any explanation given or promise made the employer wants to proceed to terminate the employment.  
In many situations an employer deciding to give notice and terminate a contract will be justifiable, reasonable and lawful.  However the practical reality is that no matter how well you followed your internal procedures, no matter how many written warnings you issued or how carefully you performance managed a sub-standard employee that person can very easily lodge an unfair dismissal claim.  Even worse the current law requires employees to do so in the immediate aftermath of their dismissal (when emotions are at their most raw).  The unfortunate result is that in many cases a disgruntled employee simply sees they have nothing to lose by lodging an unfair dismissal claim.  Once proceedings in relation to a termination are begun an employer is necessarily drawn in and must respond to the claim and participate in conciliation.  More often than not a small settlement payment is made to the employee at conciliation to simply end the matter.   
A better approach may be to invest time, money and effort into trying to achieve a mutually acceptable termination of the employment contract.  Offering a payment over and above an employee’s notice entitlements can soften the blow for the employee and be made on condition that no further legal action will be taken and that neither party will denigrate the other.  If appropriate a statement of service can be provided to assist the employee to gain new employment.  It is a delicate process that will involve a risk assessment and careful drafting but once again early involvement of a lawyer can assist you to strike a deal and ensure a relatively happy ending.
Legal actions around termination of employment contracts often need to be taken rapidly, decisively and carefully.  The lawyers at HHG Legal Group can assist you to make the right move.
They waved goodbye and all worked happily ever after……The End.


This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters please contact our office on Freecall 1800 609 945 or email us now.


*This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. Please consult one of our experienced Legal Team for specific advice relevant to your situation.

Supporting Western Australians for more than 100 years

"Always fast and thorough service. Thank you"


My circumstances at the time I made contact with HHG were dire following my argument being rejected by two no win no fee firms. Following my initial meeting with HHG's employment law team I was left feeling extremely positive by the response and concern shown by HHG in regards to their support of my argument along with their preparedness to pursue an outcome on my behalf.

I accept the fact that nobody really wins in these cases (mental health/ workplace) however the end result was what would be considered most favourable and far in excess of what would have been achieved had I not sought the advice from HHG.

I have no hesitation in recommending HHG to anyone caught up in the messy circumstances I found myself in at the time.

Great advice and five-star commitment to their client!!"


"Thank you for such great assistance with the transaction of Flying Domestics on behalf of Lorna Good. It has been such a pleasure to work with the HHG Legal Group and I look forward to working with you in the future."


"Simon Creek and his team were at all times empathic, professional and confident.  My matter needed to be addressed within a pressing time frame, and their availability at short notice and contact after hours was much appreciated.  It caused me considerable stress, but having such a thoroughly reliable and competent team to call on helped me to feel in control. Although I hope not to need their services again in future, I would be confident in doing so!"


"A good outcome is what we can expect.  A great outcome is a sign of a company which does the very best for their clients. A very big thank you to Daniel Morris for showing empathy towards my small and much needed legal action.

To HHG Legal Group, thank you for a great outcome.  I would recommend your company to anyone seeking legal services."


"Your support this morning was amazingly kind, not to mention your totally reassuring competence, knowledge and wisdom that you used on my behalf.  It was extremely reassuring to have your knowledgeable support, and I particularly appreciated your real and obvious kindness to me. It means so much at a very difficult time. I'm so grateful to you."

Family Law Client

"Janene was very professional and we established a good rapport quickly. The subject of death and wills can be quite confronting to deal with, however, Janene's approach was soft and accommodating."


"A big thank you to HHG for their professional service, continued support, and wide range of legal knowledge. Our clients have given us nothing but kind words regarding HHG Legal Group and so we have no hesitation in referring and recommending Simon Creek and HHG Legal Group for their outstanding services and legal expertise."


"Simon is a friendly and practical legal advisor. I have received great feedback from the clients I have referred to him and his team at HHG Legal Group."


"Over the last few years, I have been impressed by Simon’s legal ability, management skills, entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and people skills. He appears to be that rare breed of lawyer – both knowledgeable and commercial."


"Our family has been a client of HHG Legal Group over many years.  Business has included drawing up of wills for three generations and preparing of probate for my father in law. I would have no hesitation in recommending HHG Legal Group to anyone requiring such services."


"You should be congratulated for the manner in which your staff address clients and we found our dealings with your company, once again a very pleasant experience and we would like to truly thank you for your efforts."

Steve and Jane

"HHG Legal were absolutely fantastic. Extremely responsive and brought calm to our chaotic family situation through their knowledge and caring attitude. Extremely professional from our very first contact with them and they expertly guided our family though the required legal process over almost a 12 month period."


"Fantastic team! They really care about their client. Tim Colcutt is a 'go that extra mile' guy who gives his client his all. I can't recommend HHG and Tim enough."


"I had a fantastic lawyer in Matthew Lilly. He helped me out a great deal with good, sound advice in a friendly, professional manner. First class, thanks Matthew"


"Marine Plant Systems has been working with HHG Legal Group for a few years now and they continually provide first-class service. Their professional advice has been invaluable to our company."


"We were kept up to date at all times. Pricing was always updated over the time period so we remained "in budget". Personal access to someone whenever I had questions. All in all a great experience without too much fuss."


"Good service you can count on."


"HHG Legal Group has provided outstanding support as I have taken the journey of buying a business, their professionalism is beyond reproach. Their assistance throughout the Due Diligence process has been invaluable, I would fully recommend them."


"Very friendly and efficient service - what a pleasure working with Matthew."


"I highly recommend Daniel from HHG Lawyer in Mandurah. When dealing with a complicated legal property matter recently I was extremely impressed by Daniel's honesty and integrity and the legal advice I received. I am very happy with the service from HHG Legal."


Select your location:

Please select your nearest office location so we can show you the most relevant information.