Teachers and other employees on fixed term contracts, now have the right to apply for an unfair dismissal determination from the industrial umpire, thanks to the actions of one brave English college teacher, supported by his Union.
Saied Khayam was employed as an English language teacher by Navitas English on a contract basis. In 2015–16, during a dispute between the IEUA NSW/ACT Branch and Navitas, Khayam actively promoted the union cause with colleagues.
When his contract expired in June 2016 it was not renewed, despite Khayam having worked at Navitas for 12 years. In previous years his contract had been renewed annually without question.
Khayam was convinced he was not offered further employment due to his union activities and asked the IEUA NSW/ACT to support him in an unfair dismissal case at the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
On behalf of Khayam, the Union made an unfair dismissal application with the FWC. An essential requirement for running an unfair dismissal is that the termination has to be at the initiative of the employer.