Employment Law & Workplace Relations

Employment law concerns the interaction of the rights of employees and the rights of the organisations that employ them. You may have been unlawfully terminated, or unfairly dismissed. You may not be receiving the benefits you are entitled to receive under your contract. On the other hand, you may be an employer who is defending a claim, or seeking to lawfully terminate a problematic staff member.

We are able to assist you with the following aspects of employment law:

  • Bullying and harassment;
  • Breaches of contract;
  • Awards and agreements;
  • Bonus payments and incentives;
  • Contracts for service;
  • Discriminatory laws;
  • Employment contract drafting and advice on the contract;
  • Employment obligations;
  • Employment relationships;
  • Misrepresentation;
  • Redundancy;
  • Restraints of trade;
  • Risk management advice and strategies;
  • Termination of employment;
  • Occupational health and safety;
  • Individual rights and obligations.


Unfair dismissal

Unfair dismissal occurs when an employee’s dismissal is considered ‘harsh, unjust or unreasonable’. However, not every employee is able to bring a claim for an unfair dismissal as the legislation provides for a number of exclusions that apply as to whether or not one can bring an application. Depending on the length of service, whether you fall under the small business exemption, your rate of pay, whether you’re covered by a modern award, whether you are subject to an enterprise agreement are just some of the identifying factors to determine whether or not you can bring a claim.

Factors which may be taken into account when determining whether an employee’s dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable includes:

  • Whether there was a valid reason for the termination;
  • Whether the employee was notified of the reason;
  • Whether the employee was provided with an opportunity to respond;
  • Whether the employee had been warned about unsatisfactory performance;
  • The size of the employer’s business and/or the absence of a human resources manager and whether this impacted on the termination procedures; 
  • Any other matters considered relevant. 

It is best that you seek advice on how these factors apply to you so that you can determine whether in fact you have been dismissed unfairly.

Importantly, an unfair dismissal application has to be made within 14 days. This time can be extended in exceptional circumstance therefore it is best that you do not waste any time and seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Harassment and Discrimination in the workplace

If you have suffered from discrimination, harassment, vilification and victimisation because of your:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Disability or impairment
  • Your family or carer’s responsibilities
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy or
  • Having made a complaint or enquiry about your employment 

You may be able to seek financial compensation, payment for lost wages or reinstatement. Most workplace discrimination cases do not go to trial and are resolved through conciliation.At Fox & Staniland we will be able to advise you whether you have a discrimination claim and whether it may be possible for you to either seek compensation or reinstatement. Employment law is complex and layered. If you have a dispute in the workplace you should retain an expert lawyer who can advise you on your rights and obligations.