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Employment Solicitors Compensation Claims - Australian Lawyers - Representation Nationwide

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Our employment solicitors handle claims that arise throughout Australia, one of the most legally complex and highly regulated employment markets across the globe. Australia offers thorough safeguards to employees with both state and national legislation. We provide access to solicitors that are specialists in employment law for executives and employees, who give guidance and advice on how best to deal with all issues of employment in an equitable, lawful, and fair manner. A recent change to legislation has extended the already large arsenal that can be utilised by employees and workers to assure they receive an equitable deal from their employers.Our solicitors offer advice regarding issues including discrimination, industrial relations, harassment, redundancy, unlawful dismissal, and your employment rights.Our employment solicitors handle all categories of employees that range from junior staff to senior executives that have been treated unfairly.Additionally, we draft and provide advice about restrictive covenants, as well as deeds of release that apply when the employer offered an employee economic terms to prevent their application for compensatory damages.

Our solicitors operate nationwide and can assist you in every Australian location including Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney.

Discrimination


Employment solicitors in in NSW, VIC, WA, NT, SA, QLD and ACT can utilise extensive Australian legislation pertaining to anti-discrimination that makes it an unlawful act to discriminate against potential or current employees based on a wide variety of issues that include sex or sexual preference, race, pregnancy, religion, age, or disability. Discrimination can be defined as either indirect or direct. Indirect discrimination may be a more subtle way to deliberately discriminate. Discrimination, whether intended or not is unlawful. The legislation which can be utilised by an employment law specialist solicitor, which covers these discrimination issues are contained within the following Acts and statutes:

  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986
  • Fair Work Act 2009
  • Workplace Relations Act 2006


Harassment


Harassment is the unwanted conduct, which is generally based on race, gender, age or sexual orientation that affects a man or woman’s dignity at their place of work or during workplace functions. The intent of the person who is doing the discriminating is not part of the determination. It is the effect on the recipient that matters. Too often offensive behaviour is rationalised as a joke by the perpetrator. That behaviour often includes a hostile or unwelcome act or a succession of acts that includes jokes and abusive language, name-calling, offensive behaviour, damage to personal property, offensive visual and written materials such as obscene pictures, videos, graffiti or vandalism. Victimization is a slightly different type of harassment that occurs when an employee is dealt with less favourably than co-workers due to their enquiry of legal advice pertaining to employment matters. Harassment related issues are often complex legal concerns, so if you were the victim of any behaviour of this type you should seek to take legal advice from qualified solicitors of employment law.

Wrongful Dismissal


Australian law classifies wrongful dismissal in two categories, either unlawful or unfair. Unfair dismissals are those that occur when it is unreasonable, harsh, or unjust; however, an unlawful dismissal occurs when it is based on an unacceptable reason or reasons which are outlined under the Workplace Relations Act 2006. Both unlawful and unfair dismissals amount to improper acts which justifies an application to review by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) of the action taken, who could order reinstatement and/or compensation. Additionally, a doctrine known as ‘constructive dismissal’ might be presented by an employment solicitor. This doctrine or situation often occurs when the employee had no other rational alternative but to terminate employment because of the unlawful behaviour or conduct by an employer. That employer’s acts or misconduct entitles an employee to file claim for wrongful dismissal, which the FWC could order the employer to reinstate and/or compensate the employee, if conciliation fails.

Redundancy


An employee might be authorised redundancy pay when an employer makes the determination that a position or employee’s job is longer required to be filled by anyone, and then terminates everyone filling that position, which could be one or many. This normally occurs due to a new technology, a business turn-down or recession, relocation, a merger, or a restructuring. Strict regulations apply to redundancy situations and must be adhered to by the employer. Certain circumstances could exist when a deceitful employer might use an unlawful sham redundancy to terminate an employment. In some cases, it is cheaper to claim redundancy than another alternative, but this amounts to an unlawful dismissal and reinstatement and/or compensatory damages can be ordered by the FWC.

Deed of Release


Under certain circumstances, an employee and the employer might decide, with mutual consent, on a termination of the employee/employer relationship. When this occurs, both might want a thorough break which does not allow a possibility of future problems or retribution. Both sides might wish to consult an employment law solicitor about drafting an agreement called a Deed of Release which is legally binding, whereby the employee chooses to accept financial recompense as a condition to accept certain contractual provisions. Deeds of release provide certainty to both parties and preclude any possibility of an expensive future court proceeding. Many of deeds of release are lavish for the employee; however, some may not be so generous.

Termination & Notice


An employee whose employment has been terminated must be given proper notice in accordance with the law contained in the Fair Work Act which applies nationwide across the whole of Australia. There are always questions about whether dismissal was unlawful or unfair however if you have decided not to contest the reason for dismissal you should ensure that you are treated fairly in regards to your entitlement to remuneration following dismissal. There is a minimum entitlement to notice which is contained in the Fair Work Act which applies where there are no expressed contractual arrangements. It should be said at this point that minimum notice provisions do not apply when an employee has been dismissed for gross misconduct however that issue can be tested in a court application for unfair dismissal if it is disputed.

Entitlement to minimum notice is set out in the following table however it should be noted that any employee who is over 45 years of age, who has been in employment for over two years is entitled to an extra two weeks’ notice. The periods below are minimum< periods set out by law and employees may be entitled to more notice on a contractual basis.

Period of employee’s service Required period of notice
Not more than 1 year At least 1 week
More than 1 year but less than 3 years                At least 2 weeks
More than 3 years but less than 5 years At least 3 weeks
More than 5 years At least 4 weeks

An employer may choose to allow an employee to serve out their notice, either by working or on ‘garden leave’ at home or may chose immediate termination but must pay the minimum amounts set out either contractually or by law set out in the above table. Periods of notice may be longer if there are contractual provisions, the table merely sets out minimum terms where any agreement that exists is silent on these issues.

Also an employee who resigns from their job without giving requisite notice, again set out in the above table, may find themselves being sued for damages for loss by their employer. Great care should be taken by an employee to ensure that upon resignation they have complied with the law or an employer may lawfully withhold other entitlements such as holiday pay that is due.

In addition to notice, an employee is entitled to payment for outstanding annual leave. There are also provisions for long service in Australia and any employee who has worked for the same employers for more than 7 years but less than 10 years may be entitled to a pro rata sum of money in lieu long service leave.

Employment Solicitors

Our employment solicitors operate throughout Australia with multiple offices nationwide including Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney. We offer experienced lawyers who who will represent you in negotiations prior to employment or in the event of subsequent dispute will guard your legal right to reinstatement and/or financial compensation. The main topics dealt with by our employment solicitors are as follows:-

  • Termination of Employment


  • Notice of Termination

  • Redundancy

  • Adverse Action

  • Discrimination & Sexual Harassment

  • Restraint of Trade & Confidentiality Obligations

  • Workplace Investigations & Disciplinary Matters

  • Negotiating Contracts


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