We help employers and their employees to avoid potentially discriminatory conduct by providing advice, training programs and assistance with workplace policies in the following areas:
- Flexible work practices
- Workplace diversity
Where workplace complaints arise, we also provide representation for employers in defending these complaints.
Our team defends workplace complaints brought under State and Federal equal opportunity laws and in relation to complaints brought under the discrimination provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and relevant occupational health and safety legislation.
We regularly prepare responses on behalf of employers to complaints brought in both State and Federal equal opportunity commissions. We also appear regularly at conciliations and mediations conducted in those jurisdictions. While most complaints settle at this stage, some proceed to a formal hearing. Our team has an enviable record of defending claims which proceed to a tribunal or court.
Our team has many years experience in conducting workplace investigations, often of a highly sensitive nature, in both the private and the public sector. We understand that complaints need to be investigated thoroughly and that all parties are entitled to natural justice in this process.
We understand the types of claims that arise in workplaces, across all areas of employee misconduct, discrimination and employee grievances, and we have the practical expertise to conduct investigations that are transparent, fair and meaningful for our clients.
We regularly undertake workplace investigations involving:
- workplace bullying and harassment
- occupational assault
- employee fraud and other corrupt conduct
- sexual harassment
- inappropriate internet and email use
- policy breaches
In all our investigations, we work closely with employers to ensure that findings are made in a timely manner and that any recommendations for change are both practical and realistic.
Through our work in this area, we are often able to help employers avoid drawn out and expensive litigation. Read more about the services we offer in relation to workplace investigations and other types of investigations.
In addition to training employees on matters such as appropriate workplace behaviour, it is important that employers have in place carefully worded workplace policies. As well as creating a workplace culture which is free of inappropriate behaviour, workplace policies enable employers to defend themselves from potential claims by their employees.
We are very experienced at drafting workplace policies for a range of commercial and government employers. These include policies regarding sexual harassment, bullying and workplace violence, and discrimination. We understand that each employer's business operates differently and we ensure that this is reflected in the individual workplace policies.
We also assist employers to develop dispute resolution and grievance review procedures to deal with employee claims, where possible, internally.
We advise employers on how to deal with discrimination and equal opportunity issues that arise both at the workplace and in other areas (such as discrimination in the provision of goods or services). We ensure that employers take appropriate measures to avoid breaching any of their statutory obligations, while also meeting their commercial objectives.
We help employers meet their legal responsibilities and minimise their risk of potential legal liability by providing training across a wide variety of workplace issues... Read about the training services we offer.
Client success story
We recently acted for a tertiary institution in large scale litigation defending allegations of discrimination in employment. The complainant alleged that he had been discriminated against because of his "workplace activity", including his attempts to invoke the institution's grievance resolution procedures.
The matter required detailed factual analysis, as well as consideration of numerous policies, practices. The dispute resolution procedures, included the preparation of extensive materials, briefing a large number of witnesses and counsel. Despite being listed for a ten day hearing, the applicant withdrew, his complaint was dismissed and costs were awarded in favour of our client. Given that this tribunal is typically a no cost jurisdiction, this was a particularly significant result.More