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Workplace Relations

Macpherson Kelley’s national workplace relations team can help businesses increase performance and manage the risks associated with their most valuable asset; their people. Navigating the complexities of employment law can be challenging, even for the most experienced business owner or manager.

By working closely with our clients, we break down the legislation and provide clear, commercial advice that is in line with our clients’ objectives and strategy. Due to the sensitivity and timeliness of workplace relations issues, we look to ensure that there is always someone accessible for immediate advice.

With experienced personnel across each key area of employment law, we have the skills to provide considered, reliable advice on any specific workplace matter. We recognise that employers face a diverse range of challenges at each stage of the employment cycle.

In addition to investigations, IR, general employment law, employment-related migration and WorkCover services, we offer a number of preventative and early intervention strategies around Safety, Health and Wellbeing in the workplace.

Our in depth industry knowledge and commercial approach means that we can minimise risk and help to improve productivity and, ultimately, our clients’ bottom line.

Recent Experience

Various large employers including Councils - WorkCover

Strategically managed WorkCover claims and reduced WorkCover premium through the introduction of an early intervention process, using our broad network of health and allied professionals. This triaged claims immediately, provided workers with the appropriate treatment and provided safe duties for the employees to perform while ill or injured. As part of this process, we conducted a full and thorough review of all open and pending claims to identify any opportunities to better manage such claims, to ensure that such claims had limited premium impact.

Manufacturer – Occupational Health & Safety

Advised and dealt with an OH&S prosecution. The client involved us early, as soon as an incident had occurred, which was a key factor in achieving a satisfactory outcome. The issue was dealt with effectively and swiftly; our prior experience, team approach and commercial focus delivered results for client. This experience also assisted in moulding our prevention strategies and processes which has allowed us to help other clients stop these incidents from occurring in the first place.

Supplier to the automotive industry – Performance management and dismissal

Advised on managing long term employee with performance and conduct issues. This involved the management of complex issues, including long standing conduct deficiencies, reasonable adjustments and potential redundancy. The recommended approach resulted in a defensible position with respect to a number of claims and a huge financial benefit, including increased productivity before the business makes any decisions regarding its Australian operations.

International mid-market company - Created Enterprise Agreements

With union support, developed an “at risk” Enterprise Agreement for the company, which had invested heavily in a Greenfields site. While the agreement initially delivered low wages, it offered the workforce the real prospect of significant wage increases tied to businesses success, productivity, safety and quality performance. The business went on to achieve success with high productivity levels that rewarded its workforce with higher wages.

Mid-market corporate – Workers Compensation

Acted in relation to multiple bullying and Workers Compensation claims. Through a course of workplace facilitation and a performance management process, all workers compensation claims were rejected, the employer’s premium was protected, and the complaining employees withdrew the bullying complaints. This part of the business is now more productive than ever before.

Areas of expertise

• Award compliance
• Unfair dismissal claims
• Contracts
• OHS advice and prosecutions
• Discrimination cases
• Restructuring and redundancies
• Employment law
• Restraints
Employment-related migration

• Sexual harassment cases
• Terminations
• WorkCover
• HR policies and procedures
• Industrial action and enterprise bargaining negotiations with unions
• Investigations – sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and employee fraud

contacts

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victoria