Dismissed and the harmful effects.
People want to go to work and feel secure./Most employees rely on the employer to take care of them. Provide then with work, get paid. Feel safe from injury. Feel socially connected. So when this is taken away from them it can be devastating. State and federal governments have studies for anything and everything. If a insect is suffering in the bush somewhere there’s money and resources for it. There has been no large scale study on the impact of employees losing their job. If there was then government’s would have to deal with it, resole it. Just leave it alone seems the answer. The 2022 election campaign. No promise by either side to look at the issue. Dismissed and the harmful effects, I’m prepared to discuss the problem head on.
You have been dismissed
Let’s imagine a scenario. You were a hard-working employee at your stable job. You had a positive working relationship with your colleague. You’re dedicated to your role that you would go above and beyond to fulfill your duty. You had never received any negative feedback or warning. You thought you would be staying in this position for a while. Then out of nowhere, you were called into a meeting in the middle of work.
You walked into the meeting room and saw your manager’s face. Maybe HR was there too. You quickly sensed the intense and serious atmosphere, as if something bad was coming. “Oh no,” you thought, “did I do something wrong to upset the manager? I wouldn’t be fired, would I?”
Your employment has been terminated
Stressed and worried, you sat down and prepared yourself for the worst. What happened next just became a blur to you. Words started to come out of their mouths. “Unfortunately…regret to inform you…after careful consideration…your employment has been terminated…” You were shocked, you did not really see it coming. You tried to process what was happening, only to realise a few moments later that you had been dismissed. Your whole world had been shaken upside down. After the initial shock, you were hit with the mixed emotions after realizing losing your job, including the feeling of embarrassment, humiliation, stress and anxiety.
You may find the simulated scenario not very far from real-life experiences. Unfortunately, the above scenario occurs on a daily basis for employees, with thousands of people being dismissed from their job suddenly. Being dismissed from a job is ranked 8th among the top 10 most stressful life events. It comes with a lot of adverse effects particularly in one’s financial and mental health aspects.
Losing your job means losing your income. For many people, this can be life-threatening as they rely solely on their salary to support their living expenses. Survival becomes an issue, when you still have to pay for food, for rent, for bills without income. You can only rely on your savings to support living for so long – once your saving runs out, putting food on the table would be such a struggle.
In fact, for many young workers who live paycheck-to-paycheck, financial strains would become an issue quickly after being sacked. For people with mortgages, they encounter the additional stress of not being able to make mortgage or debt repayment, in the fear of having their mortgage defaulted and having their homes being taken away.
Government unemployment support may be available to some, particularly the JobSeeker scheme implemented since the start of the pandemic. However, a single unemployed person is only entitled to $565.70 JobSeeker Payment per fortnight. For many people, this amount of payment only suffices the bare minimum of living expenses, not to mention the ongoing inflation that hikes up product prices.
The JobSeeker scheme also imposes an obligation on beneficiaries to actively engage in job seeking activities and accept any offer of suitable paid work. This can impose pressure on workers to accept job opportunities that are not a fit for their skill sets.
Being dismissed from a job can trigger many negative emotions that detrimentally impact your mental wellbeing. Firstly, the anger and humiliation that come from being fired from a job suddenly. For some, they may be fired unlawfully due to prejudices or discrimination held by their employers. For others, they may have foreseen the dismissal with their unsatisfactory job performances or misconducts.
Even so, they can still experience shock and anger triggered by the sudden termination of their employment despite seeing it coming. Since dismissal includes losing something valuable like a job or stable income, mourning and losses also frequently occur. That is, people tend to also experience grief after being terminated.
Aricia Shaffer, a career counsellor and former psychotherapist, commented on grief related to losing one’s job:
“Grief can be a very real response. The depth of the grief and how it plays out depends on the individual’s reliance on their work environment for their sense of worth as well as for their social needs. If work is their entire life, it can be devastating”Aricia Shaffer
There is a level of grief
Grief can open the floodgate for many other negative emotions. Self-doubt and insecurity start to surface. Being dismissed gives a hint that “you are not good enough” for the position, which can lead to a sense of failure and self-doubt. Self-doubt when viewed in a positive way, can be utilized for self-reflection to improve one’s skills or performance. However, self-doubt coupled with the crippling stress and grief can lead oneself to the deep rabbit hole of depression. Studies have found that the symptoms of depression and anxiety are significantly greater for unemployed people than the employed.
In fact, dismissal can be a cause generating mental health issues. Many signs of mild depression are common among people who had been dismissed, including social isolation, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite and loss of motivation and interest. If left untreated, these signs can quickly develop into clinical depression that have a long-term impact on one’s health.
The feeling of fear when your dismissed
Fear is also a common emotion felt by many people who lose their job, led by uncertainty about the future. Particularly, a job provides one with a secured income and a stable routine. With these things being taken away, it is natural for a person to experience emotions such as anxiety and panics.
Many people reflect this in the inability to get out of bed, following the lose of the job. when its stating the obvious, you should be up looking for work, going to the doctors whatever.
Taking legal actions
Some people may feel like they have been dismissed unfairly, which can actually be the case if their employers have not followed proper procedure to dismiss them or provide valid reasons for their dismissal. People would feel the need to defend their rights and restore justice by pursuing legal actions against their former employer.
Whether legal action would be appropriate will depend on the circumstances surrounding the dismissal, for example, was the dismissal harsh, unjust or unfair or was the employee being terminated wrongfully for a protected reason. It must be noted that despite having a claim, not everyone would be able to afford to bring legal claims against the employer – it can be costly for someone who just has lost a stable income, alongside with more stress when one associates with commencing legal actions.
Future Job hunting
Being dismissed can take a tremendous toll on your confidence in your skills and work capability. Many people face the stress about seeking future employment after being terminated, as they fear that the termination was an indication of their poor job performance, or that their future employer would not want to hire someone who has been fired from their last job.
Whether they can be rehired or not can be dependent on their luck or the demand in the current labour market. These are external factors outside of jobseeker’s control, which can add to their anxiety and stress if they are not able to secure a job. And as time passes, with job seekers being out of work for longer, they may find it even harder to secure another employment. They would also be questioned about the gap in their employment history by future recruiters, placing them in a more disadvantaged situation for being picked for any positions.
Less secured employment
Statistics show that people with less secured types of employment are more likely to be dismissed among other employees. For instance, casual workers account for two-thirds of people who lost a job during the early pandemic. People with less secured type of employment are easier to be terminated because employers would face fewer restrictions in dismissing those employees. Those employees would also have less protection for their work rights.
Small businesses are given greater discretion in dismissing an employee under the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code, under which an employer can dismiss any employee without notice or warning on the reasonable belief of serious misconduct. As a result, employees from small businesses are at higher risk of being sacked.
Race and ethnicity implication
Racism is still well and alive in Australia. Racism can still be the basis for some employment termination, although employers would attempt to cover up the dismissal with other excuses. A diversity report in March 2022 finds that 43% of non-white employees commonly encounter racism at work in Australia, with some of the racial prejudices coming from their employer. Ethnic workers are at a greater risk of unfair treatment and being unreasonably or harshly sacked by their employers.
Racism continues to place an additional burden on ethnic workers post dismissal. Dismissed and the harmful effects everybody. They would face extra difficulty in accessing government support for unemployment due to language barrier or visa status. They can be staying in Australia illegal or in the fear that pursuing legal action would affect their stay in Australia. As a result, ethnic workers are more hesitant in pursuing legal actions to protect their rights.
Compared to white workers, ethnic jobseekers would be less favourable in being selected for future employment positions due to racial prejudice in addition to their history of being sacked. All the adverse consequences of being sacked, including financial struggles, the toll on mental health, and decrease in future job aspects can intersect with the element of ethnicity in disproportionately affecting workers of diverse racial or ethical backgrounds.
Conclusion to Dismissed and the harmful effects.
I hope this article “dismissed and the harmful effects” has been helpful to you. The article is not very cheerful, but it demonstrates, understands the feelings you have. The anxiety you have, you are not alone. The feelings can be normal for the circumstances you find yourself in. I have a saying, “its not what happens to you in life that defines people of character its what you do about it”. Now I know not everybody has my DNA, but you have to try.
Of course you are always welcome to call me and discuss aspects. My names Gary Pinchen, I have been representing workers and their rights for the last 20 plus years. Any issues around abandonment of employment, casual employee rights, workers rights, adverse action. Redundancy, forced tp resign. Give me a call. Its free, prompt and accurate. We are not here to lead you astray. (We leave that to others.). Call 1800 333 666
We are based in Victoria, but work in all states.
Places to get lodge claim, get assistance.
Federal court, click here
Fair work Ombudsman, click here
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One of the nations leading workplace advisors, representatives and commentators. Gary has represented some 12,000 clients over some 20 plus years, published some 300 plus articles. He is passionate about employees rights and the test of fairness in the workplace. Have a problem, concern, wants to contribute to the debate or research, call him directly.