Our Location:

Level 4, 179 Queen Street
Melbourne Vic 3000

Call Us:

(03) 9642 0435

Employment Law

PH Solicitor has expertise in Australian Employment Law. Whether you are an employee, independent contractor, small-medium business, an ASX listed company, or executive employee, we can provide timely, accurate and commercial advice on all aspects of Employment Law in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.

We can advise on all aspects of workplace relations including advice for employers and employees on issues such as redundancy, performance management, termination, workplace investigations, workplace bullying and harassment, discrimination, contracts of employment, non-competition (restraint of trade) clauses and representation in relation to unfair dismissals and general protections claims.

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Redundancy of employment can be a complicated and emotional process. There may be requirements for an employer to consult prior to the redundancy taking effect, depending on any applicable industrial instrument and workplace policies.

It is important to ensure that the redundancy is genuine, and that all applicable employee entitlements are paid. This includes payment of redundancy as well as providing notice of termination or payment in lieu, any additional payments provided for in the contract of employment and accrued and unused annual leave and applicable long service leave.
If you have been dismissed from work harshly, unjustly or unreasonably you may have grounds to make a claim for unfair dismissal. Obtaining legal advice in the early stages of an unfair dismissal proceeding assists in the efficient and effective running of the case.

PH Solicitor have extensive experience in providing legal representation for unfair and wrongful dismissal cases in the Federal Circuit Court, County Court, Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria and the Fair Work Commission.
Bullying and harassment in the workplace is unacceptable. If you are a victim of bullying and harassment, it has the potential to damage your career, health and peace of mind.

Workplace bullying and harassment can occur in any workplace regardless of its size. It is vital for employers to understand their obligations to provide a safe work environment and how to manage employees under these circumstances.

Bullying occurs where a person or group of people are repeatedly and unreasonably treated, and this creates a risk to health and safety.

Every person who participates in the workplace has the right to be treated with respect and fairness in an environment that is safe. Discrimination, Harassment & Bullying are damaging to everyone concerned as well as to the workplace itself.

Harassment occurs when a person is treated less favourably due to certain personal characteristics such as race, sex, pregnancy, age, religion or sexual orientation.

The existence of workplace policies can provide clear expectations and guidelines for both employers and employees.
Discrimination can be either direct or indirect. In some circumstances it can be difficult to determine whether discrimination exists.

Direct discrimination is where a person is treated unfairly or unfavourably because of a certain trait or attribute such as age, gender, disability, race, sex or religion.

Indirect discrimination is where there is some requirement or condition (that is not reasonable in the circumstances) that appears to be the same for everyone, but disadvantages people with certain protected attributes more than it disadvantages people without those attributes.

A clear discrimination policy needs to be in place, and employees should be required to read it, and receive training on this topic, including bullying and harassment.

Discriminations claims may generally be brought in the Fair Work Commission, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Federal Courts and State and National Human Rights Commissions.
In Victoria, the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual behaviour (either physical, verbal and/or written), which could be expected to make a person feel offended,humiliated or intimidated.

Even if the person did not intend for the conduct to be sexual harassment towards another person, it does not mean that it does not fall within the ambit of sexual harassment.

This conduct in the workplace can be discrete, and as such, sensitive handling and investigation of these claims is important. Ensuring the health and wellbeing and support of employees involved is also an important consideration.

Employers have a responsibility to ensure a safe work environment for all employees. Updating workplace policies, and providing ongoing training for employees can help provide a safe work environment for all employees.
 
Executive employees can be subject to wrongful termination, redundancy or disputes about their contract of employment and entitlements regardless of their experience or level of seniority.

Under the *Fair Work Act 2009 *(Cth), most executive employees are unable to access statutory remedies for unfair dismissal due to earning above the high-income threshold ($145,400 as at 1 July 2018 and adjusted annually). Employees earning over the high-income threshold must bring claims in State or Commonwealth Courts.

We provide timely and commercial legal advice to executive employees who have been, or are facing termination. We also provide advice to executive employees throughout workplace investigations, performance management processes and end of employment and exit negotiations.
We can provide assistance in drafting contracts of employment, as well as review of existing contracts of employment.

It is important to ensure that any contract of employment is in accordance with workplace laws and enforceable.

For employees, we can review and advise you on the operation of the contract of employment and your legal obligations under the contract.
Workplace investigations can be a stressful time for employees and employers alike. It is important to understand the process involved and the rights that you have when participating in a workplace investigation.

As an employer, it is vital to understand the notion of procedural fairness and best practice for conducting workplace investigations in accordance with the Fair Work legislation.

As an employee, it can be a stressful time in your career and life to participate in a workplace investigation. We can provide legal advice and help guide you through the workplace investigation, including what to expect and possible outcomes.

We can assist in conducting workplace investigations, as well as assisting and advising employees throughout an investigation.
The difference between an independent contractor and employee is not as straightforward as people may believe. The provision of services and issuing of an invoice for payment of work performed does not exclusively mean that the individual is considered an independent contractor.

There are a number of considerations to be taken into account in determining whether an individual is an independent contractor or employee, including:
· How much control they have over the work that is performed;
· The hours that the individual works;
· The expectation of work and whether it is ongoing;
· Financial risk, including superannuation and taxation obligations;
· Whether the individual has to provide their own tools and equipment;
· Method of payment; and
· Leave