Employment is an area of law that is at the same time highly regulated under the Fair Work legislation, but wide open to expensive litigation for those employees on salaries above the Fair Work threshold. For employers care needs to be taken to ensure that employment agreements comply with Fair Work requirements and also, where applicable look at potential future litigation in the event of disputes. For employees, scrutiny of agreements is advised before being tied to them.
Employers must ensure that any employment agreement complies with the National Employment Standards as to facilities to be provided to employees. Care is also to be taken in relation to holiday entitlements, long service leave, termination for cause, redundancy and notice. It must be remembered that Fair Work is a no cost jurisdiction so there is no recovery of costs available. Besides compliance with National Employment Standards, employers are bound by particular contract provisions that may exceed these but are in contracts, especially for those employees on salaries in excess of the threshold (currently $145,000 p.a.). In these cases litigation may be pursued in the courts and costs recovery is available.
Employees should ensure that their rights under the Fair Work legislation are covered in their employment agreements and in the event of any termination that requirements for notice and pay out are respected. For those employees over the salary threshold, consideration needs to be given to vigorous pursuit of rights and payments through the court system, hopefully to reach a satisfactory settlement before court decision.
Employment disputes can arise from performance by one side or the other, but often from miscommunications resulting in different interpretation of the same situation. This problem can be minimised by documents clearly setting out rights, obligations and entitlements of the employment. These documents can eliminate a lot of contestation and permit any intervening decider to make an expeditious and less costly decision in the event of dispute between employer and employee. To this end our team will assist in preparation of prepare employment contracts and policy procedure manuals.
How do we charge?
On receiving instructions, we will fix a fee for our services. This fee will remain fixed so that the client will not receive any nasty shock on completion of the matter. The fixed fee may vary if our instructions are varied by our client. In that case, a new estimate for the new instructions will be given that may be accepted or not by the client before the varied instructions are worked on. Where a fee is charged for an initial conference, this will be discounted for the fixed fee to be agreed for subsequent action by us.
These are costs of third parties, including barristers, and experts in various fields. We will negotiate these on behalf of clients, and advise clients, as far as we can, of acceptability.
Payment of anticipated costs
Generally, we will request a payment of anticipated fees or a substantial amount of them into our trust account on accepting instructions.
If you require any assistance, please contact us at or call us at +61 2 9232 8392.