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In a perfect world, no one would ever need an employment lawyer to help us deal with a crisis caused by an unfair dismissal, redundancy, workplace discrimination or bullying.

Unfortunately, employment relationships do break down for a variety of reasons, some lawful while others — not so much.

If you’ve been wronged in the workplace, our employment lawyers in Brisbane will advise you on your legal options related to employment such as:

  • Advice in the pre-selection and contract formation stage;
  • Advice on the relationship between employee and employer; and
  • Advice when the employment relationship comes to an end including representation in legal proceedings if necessary.

Corney & Lind employment lawyers act for both employees and employers. This approach gives us a full perspective of employment law to service you with comprehensive legal advice you deserve.

Our employment lawyers regularly deal in employment law areas related to:

Hiring

It is important to take legal advice before you employ someone or before you sign an employment contract. Taking advice early can save grief later.

For example:

What are the expectations of the employer and employee?

  • As an employer – are there certain budget expectations or performance requirements that you are expecting? These should be documented in the employment contract to avoid any confusion or potential argument later.
  • As an employee – have you been made any promises to induce you to accept an offer of employment?

What protection does the employer need to prevent unfair competitive practices?

  • Is there confidential information that must be protected?
  • Does the employee need to be prevented from working with a competitor for a period of time following end of employment?
  • What impact will such clauses have on the employee and will the clause be legally enforceable?

What about intellectual property?

  • Will the employee be creating intellectual property, and if so how will it be owned?
  • Is there intellectual property that the Employee owns and is bringing with them?
  • How will that be used by the Employer?
  • Do you need a licence agreement to allow for this use?

What entitlements will apply to the employee?

  • Does a modern award or enterprise agreement apply?
  • How will this impact on their salary and penalty rates?

Should the employer engage an employee or an independent contractor?

  • What are the legal, taxation and superannuation consequences of such a decision?
  • Is it “sham contracting” to engage the person as an independent contractor?

These and many other questions demonstrate the importance of taking legal advice before the employment relationship starts. Corney & Lind employment lawyers can advise on all aspects of the hiring process such as:

  • Advice on and drafting of employment contracts including drafting restraint of trade clauses, confidentiality agreements, intellectual property ownership, employee and employer expectations and obligations;
  • Drafting of enterprise agreements and assistance in negotiating;
  • Independent contractor and service agreements including service provider expectations and obligations, confidentiality agreements, restraint of trade, intellectual property ownership, sham contracting protection, unfair contracts advice.
  • Avoiding unlawful discrimination in your hiring practices.

Employment Contracts

You’ve attended an interview and you have you been given a letter of offer or an employment contract. We recommend that you have the contract reviewed before you sign it. Our employment lawyers have tailored an Employment Contract | Independent Contractor Agreement High Point Advice for a fixed fee. You can read more here.

Employment Relationship

During the employment relationship, there is frequently the need for legal advice because of the serious nature of the relationship. If this relationship is not handled correctly, it can lead to legal action.

Our specialist Brisbane employment lawyers can provide you with comprehensive advice to help you navigate any potential minefields.

In particular, Corney & Lind employment lawyers advise on the following:

  • Managing employee and employer expectations and promises;
  • Implied duty of mutual trust and confidence
  • Drafting and reviewing employment policies and procedures;
  • Advising on employee entitlements (including personal and carer leave) under modern awards and enterprise agreements;
  • Advising on employee complaints including grievances against other employees, complaints of bullying, and harassment etc;
  • Assisting and conducting independent investigations to about complaints of improper conduct, bullying or harassment by employees;
  • Representing employees at grievance, discipline, or show cause meetings;
  • Advising on workers compensation and WorkCover claims for both employees who have been injured or employers who have been the subject of a complaint or claim;
  • Drafting settlement deeds and separation agreements for employers or advising employees regarding settlement deeds and separation agreements.

Dismissal or Termination of Employment

If your employment ends in what you believe are unfair circumstances or you have been forced to resign from your employment, you may have a claim for unfair dismissal with a range of options to protect your rights.

Unfair dismissal and termination of employment claims are usually complex and require employment law experts to achieve a just outcome for everyone involved.

The unfair dismissal process – how it works

The easiest way to understand the unfair dismissal process is through a process diagram. We’ve illustrated one below, which takes you through the process.

Note the strict 21 day time limitation to make an unfair dismissal application. If you miss this deadline, your options may be severely limited.
A flow chart showing how the unfair dismissal process works in Australia under the Fair Work Act
The stages of the unfair dismissal process in Australia. Our diagram is adapted from the FWC’s official unfair dismissal benchbook

Our Brisbane employment lawyers can guide you through the legal process and advise you on matters such as:

  • Claims for unfair dismissal where the dismissal is considered harsh, unjust or unfair, or not a genuine redundancy. We will assist you with drafting a claim if you believe you have been unfairly dismissed. If you are an employer, we will assist you in responding to a claim and represent you throughout the claim;
  • Assisting with genuine redundancies, including advising on whether a redundancy is genuine and what steps employers should take before making an employee redundant;
  • Claims for adverse action where an action has been taken because the employee exercised a workplace right or has been discriminated against;
  • Drafting settlement deeds or separation agreements for employers;
  • Advising employees regarding settlement deeds and separation agreements;
  • Advice in the pre-selection and contract formation stage;
  • Initiating or defending proceedings for breach of the employment contract;
  • Advice on the relationship between employer and employee;
  • Preserving and enforcing intellectual property rights, confidentiality obligations, and restraint of trade obligations including initiating urgent court proceedings to safeguard your valuable goodwill.

Employment with Religious Bodies

Employment with the Christian, religious and faith sector is different to “usual” employment relationships. In our experience, having an employment lawyer who understands this sector will assist you in achieving your ministry objectives.

For example, we routinely consider and advise faith-based clients on the following types of issues:

  • Employee, spiritual appointee or volunteer? Determining the best method for engaging your employees;
  • Exempt fringe benefit issues for religious practitioners;
  • Treatment of Family Tax A, Family Tax B and Parenting Payments for religious practitioners;
  • Dealing with morality and lifestyle clauses within the contract of employment.

Whether you are an employee, contractor, or employer, our Brisbane employment lawyers will help you understand your legal position and guide you on the best course of action for a just outcome unique for your circumstances.

Here’s what some of our clients are saying:

Eduardo was great. He spoke to me in an understandable way for a non-legal type person.

Lisa T

Natasha was very helpful and went out of her way to attend and respond to queries beyond my expectation.

Helton S

Eduardo is very thorough. He explained my options, so I feel more confident. Eduardo thank you for the advice and care.

Maureen F

Received good, pragmatic advice from Alistair and his friendly team.

Terry G

Matthew answered all the questions before I asked and now I have peace of mind.

Mary

Matt answered and advised me well and I will follow up with his advice. I was very happy with the service.

Bronwyn J

Get In Touch With an Expert Employment Lawyer in Brisbane

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Our Brisbane Office

Our Brisbane office is opposite the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital on the corner of Bowen Bridge Rd and Campbell St. We’re only minutes from the Brisbane CBD.