Employment Law in Australia – Everything You Need to Know

Employment law is one of the largest and most important aspects of business and financial security. Whether you are a business owner or an employee, it’s important you understand your legal obligations and rights so you can handle any competently and professionally. Employment law can be difficult and stressful, but with the right knowledge and support, it’s not difficult to reach a satisfactory result.

Australian employment law is similar to employment law in many countries, but also has some unique structures and procedures which make it important to understand whether you are an employer or an employee. In this article, I’ll go over some of the more important points of employment law in Australia and what you can do to keep on top of it.

Employment Contracts

Every business in Australia must have contracts established with employees. This contract outlines the rights and obligations of both the employer and the employee, setting the terms and conditions under which an individual is employed. The contract should also include specific details such as start date, job duties, salary and notice period. An employment lawyer will be able to help you and your business draft an employment contract template that matches the requirements of your business, or review employment contracts to ensure you are both meeting your obligations and are protected. Often employment contracts are dealt with under a specialised area of employment law known as employment contract law.

Understanding Employment Rights

Both employers and employees have specific rights when it comes to employment. Employees are expected to uphold their duties to a reasonable standard, follow workplace policies and procedures, and meet obligations outlined in their employment contract. Likewise, employers are expected to provide a safe and healthy workplace, pay employees in accordance with applicable laws, and give notice before terminating an employee, among other things.

What Happens in the Event of a Breach?

If one party fails to meet their obligations or breaches the terms of employment, the party affected may be able to sue under common law for the damage suffered. They may also be entitled to terminate the contract without notice and sue for any losses suffered.

Of course, this is determined on a case-by-case basis. Employment lawyers will be able to help you work out where you stand in such circumstances and ensure you can handle the situation correctly from the start.

Types of Employment Law Cases

Unfair Dismissal

Also known as wrongful terminations, unfair dismissal is a serious issue. When an employee is terminated from their job, they may have a claim for unfair dismissal if they believe the termination was not justified.

Sexual Harassment

Depending on the circumstances and how incidents are handled, sexual harassment can quickly become a legal issue, for both the individuals involved and for the business.

Workplace Bullying

Bullying in the workplace is a widespread and growing problem. If you are an employer, you are obligated to protect all employees from bullying, under the Fair Work Act.

Unpaid Wages

If an employee feels they are not being paid their correct wage, they may take legal action. Employment lawyers can help you understand your obligations from the start and ensure all parties in an employment agreement are fairly compensated.

Getting Legal Advice

Whether you are an employer or an employee, if you find yourself facing a workplace law or employment law matter, it may be wise to seek legal advice from an employment law firm. A qualified and experienced law firm will be able to clarify the situation for you, providing employment law advice that is tailored to your situation.

An employment lawyer will also be able to assess your business and suggest legal options that will protect the interests of both you and your employees. They will also be able to deal with any legal issues as they arise.

Choosing the Right Employment Lawyers

If you need assistance with employment law, it’s essential that you choose the right employment lawyers. It’s important that they are experienced in employment law, and ideally, they should also be specialists so that they will be able to give you detailed legal advice relevant to your situation.

Workplace Wizards’ employment law team is available when you need us to help you through legal issues you may be facing. While we cannot provide legal advice, we have years of experience and a team of legally qualified and practising lawyers. We can provide you with professional advice and support throughout employment law matters. As both workplace management experts and employment lawyers, we offer a range of employment law services ranging from employment dispute law to workplace investigations and managing workplace relations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Fair Work Act of 2009 is one of the most important pieces of employment legislation in Australia. It sets the fundamental terms and conditions for most Australian employees who are part of the national workplace relations system. It also includes the National Employment Standards (NES), which set out 10 minimum entitlements that apply to most employees in the private sector. If you are an employer, it’s important you understand the Fair Work Act and what it means for your business.
Generally speaking, yes, but some lawyers may be specialised in different areas of employment law and workplace law. If you are considering working with a lawyer, it can be helpful to ask them about their specialisations to ensure you can get the results you’re looking for. You can read more about Workplace Wizard’s specialties on our services page.

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Mark Ritchie

Mark Ritchie

Mark is passionate about helping Australian businesses efficiently resolve their industrial relations issues. Mark has demonstrated proficiency advising managers, executives and boards of small to medium-sized enterprises, as well as some of Australia’s best-known companies, on both litigious and non-litigious matters.

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