Can An Employer Sue An Employee For A Breach Of Contract In Australia?

June 19, 2024    Employment Lawyers
Can An Employer Sue An Employee For A Breach Of Contract In Australia?

The professional sector revolves around agreements. The employer and the employee form the backbone of the institution. Imagine if this relationship is tarnished and the breach of Contract Cases is done. In such a scenario, the institution suffers the most.


This blog aims to provide a clear understanding of the legal landscape in Australia in such matters. Whether you are a business owner or a jobholder facing such issues, this information will help you out. Let’s read on to find out more.


What is a breach of employment?


In Australia, such a contract occurs when an employer or employee fails to meet their obligations as outlined in the contract.


The former can breach an employment agreement by:

  • Wrongfully dismissing a worker
  • Failing to pay agreed-upon wages or benefits
  • Unreasonably changing business conditions
  • Violating non-compete or non-disclosure agreements


The latter can breach a work contract by:


  • Misleading the employer about their right to work in Australia
  • Exposing confidential information without consent
  • Misusing intellectual property created during the job offer

If an employment arrangement is violated, either party can file a claim and hire an employment lawyer. They can accuse the other party of being at fault. Staff may be able to seek reimbursements in common law courts.


Rights of an employer


The owner can sue a worker for a breach of contract employment law in Perth. They can sue an employee for violating the agreement if the employee breaches a material term of their agreement.


For example, if a jobholder shares confidential information without authorisation. Conversely, if they start working for a competitor when their contract has a restraint of trade clause, this could be a disregard of the contract.


The owner can also sue a worker for other reasons, such as:


  • Acting on behalf of another organisation with interests that are contrary to the employer.
  • Failing to use reasonable care to fulfil work duties.
  • If the staff defames the business
  • Suppose the employee fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care. Additionally, if they cause harm to the organisation or its staff in any manner.


Before suing, the managing director should try to settle the matter informally. Damages are only awarded for financial loss. For example, the extra cost incurred while hiring temporary staff or lost revenue.


What is this breach in Australia?


Such infringement occurs on the continent when a party fails to fulfil its contractual obligations. The person alleging the breach has the burden of proof. If the disregard of the contract is established, the aggrieved party may be able to terminate the contract. Additionally, they may further seek a remedy. However, the right to terminate the contract may not be applicable in every case. If this happens, the offended person may need to take further action. This can lead to the starting of court proceedings.


In Australia, the limitation periods for breach of contract vary by state. For example, in WA, a party must start lawsuits with the help of a breach of contract lawyer Perth within six years of the violation.


How can a lawyer help?


The employment lawyers in Perth WA can help in such a situation on the continent by clarifying your privileges. They explain the fundamental rights under the agreement and the law in the state. This, in turn, helps you resolve the issue without escalating the matter.


To prove a breach of contract, you need to show evidence of the facts that give rise to the legal rights. To successfully claim this, the affirming party must present a compelling case that satisfies multiple important criteria. These standards establish that a contract existed. There was a failure to perform contractual obligations as stated in those papers. It states, above all, that this failure resulted in damages to the non-breaching party.


If the groups involved can’t agree on a course of action, they may need to apply to the court. The non-violating participant can sue for damages. They can raise claims, injunctions, and, in some cases, demands for equitable damages.


Solutions for breach


Remedies for such issues of contract include:

  • Suit for damage
  • Suit for specific performance
  • Not letting the other party do something
  • Suit upon quantum meruit
  • Injunction
  • Eliminating the contract
  • Recession of Contract




Employment contracts are the foundation of the owner-staff relationship. If this agreement is violated, employers can take legal action against the jobholders. This process involves specific criteria and significant consequences.


If you are facing such issues, do not feel that you are alone. You can see legal advice from the best employment lawyers in Perth. Remember to communicate and adhere to the terms of the agreement openly. This may prevent the hassle of navigating the complex legal landscape.

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