Get an Expert Employment Lawyer on Your Side
Whether you’re an employee, employer, or contractor, knowing your rights in the workplace is essential. Mark has over 30 years practising and advising in employment law, acting for both employees and employers. This has given our team a balanced perspective and provided us with valuable insights into the motivations and desires of both parties.
Understanding Legal Rights at Work
Anyone can experience difficulties in the workplace, regardless of their age, gender, or experience level. Yet many people are unaware of their legal rights in the workplace.
From an employer’s perspective, not understanding the rights and obligations of the employer leaves the business open to potential risks and may increase the likelihood of employees making a claim against the employer.
On the other hand, employees who don’t understand their rights can suffer from unfair dismissal, workplace harassment, discrimination, or other issues.
We have experience in all areas of employment law. We work with employees to protect their rights and take legal action, and we also work with employers to proactively manage their organisation and its employees and address any issues that may arise along the way.
If you have been dismissed in a way that seems unfair, harsh, or unreasonable, you may have grounds for unfair dismissal. Redundancy is different to a dismissal, as it occurs when the role in question is no longer needed. A dismissal is when employment is terminated by the employer, or the employee was forced to resign by the employer. It’s crucial to understand why you are being terminated so that it can be determined whether the employer had reasonable grounds to do so.
You should seek immediate legal advice if you feel you have been wrongfully terminated, as applications need to be lodged to the Fair Work Commission within 21 days of dismissal. We know how to navigate complex unfair dismissal laws and can offer legal advice and representation, if necessary. By the same token, if we think that an employee does not have rights to end an Unfair Dismissal claim, we will tell you that….. we will not beat around the bush in this regard.
Workplace Harassment and Discrimination
Workplace harassment, including workplace bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment, can be traumatic for individuals involved. If you have been subjected to workplace bullying or harassment, we recommend keeping a diary and any written records of any incidents that occur, steering clear of the individuals involved and addressing the issue early.
First and foremost, it is important both for employers and employees that the health and safety of employees is always maintained. If as an employee you feel that a situation or individual might put you in danger, avoid it wherever possible. Make a written complaint at your workplace and keep a record of the complaint. You may also want to check your employment guidelines or seek advice before taking action.
Employment contracts can vary substantially based on different organisations and industries. If you’re concerned about a new or current employment contract, we can review your contract to ensure your rights as an employee are protected.
Similarly, if you are an employer or contractor seeking advice on creating or modifying an employment contract or a subcontract arrangement, we can advise you. Many organisations find that as their business changes, their employment contracts need to be modified to suit new roles or business structures.
Employment contracts need to protect the interests of both parties by specifying certain conditions, particularly those around termination of employment, parental leave entitlements, dispute resolution processes and restraint of trade clauses such as a non-compete period.
Employees who have suffered from discrimination, illness or injury at work may be entitled to workers compensation, depending on the circumstances surrounding how they were affected. Claims need to be lodged swiftly in order to ensure they fall within the specified claim period.
The employment of most employees in Australia are regulated pursuant to the Fair Work Act. If as an employee you have been injured and you feel you may have a valid claim, keep a record of any incidents that occur and seek help as soon as possible and seek advice from an experienced employment lawyer.
Services for Employers and Contractors
It’s crucial for employers and contractors to maintain strong workplace relations to sustain a productive workplace. Maintaining a good workplace relationship is key for employers, as workplace disputes can have a direct impact on the company’s profitability, performance and, in the long term, its reputation.
Good legal advice can ease workplace tension before it starts and can help employers implement the processes, paperwork and organisational protocols that can prevent workplace disputes.. Employers also have a responsibility to educate employees on such conduct and manage any ongoing risks to the business.
Our Approach to Employment Law
Our team serves Wollongong and the greater Illawarra region. With over 30 years of experience in this field, we have navigated a myriad of scenarios that can occur in the workplace.
We have a commitment to our clients, and we have strong litigation skills and deep knowledge of the latest updates in workplace litigation. When workplace or contractual difficulties occur, our focus is firstly to assist our clients to resolve those difficulties.
We also have vast experience in conciliating settlement of disputes rather than allowing such difficulties to lead to litigation. However, if a dispute has to be determined in Court, we know our way around that area better than most.
If you need advice on an employment or workplace law issue or you’d like to learn more about our services, get in touch with our top employment lawyer, Mark McDonald.