Employment + Workplace Relations
Our Employment and Workplace Relations team focuses on working with employers across a spectrum of industries and needs. From hiring, managing and firing employees, our employment team acts both as employer advocates and tackle all areas of the employment law spectrum. With Australia having a strong employment protection regime for employees, obtaining sound and commercial advice is key to ensure a company makes an informed decision in relation to its employees. With an additional focus on working in the Child Safety and Employment training space, our employment team are uniquely placed to offer face to face training and guidance to businesses. An insight into some of our capabilities can be found below.
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Employment and Workplace Relations
Employment law strikes at the core of every business, its people. Led by Associate-Director and Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations, Catherine Brooks, our employment law team takes a practical approach to the employment life cycle - hiring, managing and firing, to ensure your business keeps running effectively. From litigation, employment contracts, managing employee conduct (and misconduct), Enterprise Bargaining Agreement negotiations, and safely exiting an employee, our employment law team provides a variety of assistance to our clients to make sure that they stay protected.
Our employment law team’s capabilities include:
Litigation - including general protections, discrimination, bullying and harassment, and unfair dismissal
Hiring - including employment and independent contractor agreements, and on-boarding procedures
Managing - including independent medical examinations, warnings, policies and performance management plans
Firing - including deeds of release and settlement, without prejudice letters, and termination advice
Enterprise Agreements - including drafting, strategic advice, negotiation and bargaining, and lodging
Child Safety - including training, development of policies and procedures, and responding to concerns
Depending on your business goals, our lawyers can provide a number of options for how we can assist. Book a consultation with one of the lawyers in our employment law team today to have an obligation free discussion.
I have received a litigation claim from a former employee, what should i do first?
Contact us! There are often deadlines that you need to comply with, and the sooner that you start the process of receiving advice and preparing a response, the better position your business will be in. The worst thing that you can do is sit on a claim for days without taking any action.
I want to transition an employee out of the business, but this employee is likely to be litigious. What are my options?
It really depends on the precise situation, but there are a number of options available to you. For example, one option we often explore with our clients is to make a without prejudice (roughly meaning "off the record") offer to the employee and get them to sign a deed of release that protects the business against most claims. In order to work out whether this pathway, or another, is best suited to your situation, we recommend that you contact us before you take any action.
I want to engage my first employee, what documents do i need to have?
Firstly, congralations on getting to the stage of needing to hire employees! That is no easy feat. In terms of documents, you will at a minimum need an effective employment contract (drafted by a lawyer) that sets out the arrangement and includes all of the possible protections for your business. You also need to speak to your insurer (or insurance broker) to make sure that you have all of the necessary insurance coverage. The next stage is putting in place the key policies that you need, which often includes policies on topics such as privacy, social media, occupational health and safety, whistleblowing and equal opportunity, bullying and harassment.
Don't go at this process alone, and contact us as early as possible. We'd be happy to assist.
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