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Every good employer knows how meaningful their relationship with an employee is to maintaining a productive and successful workplace. But with the ever-changing nature of industrial relation standards and employment law, it's easy to get confused about how to draw up documents, deal with disputes and ensure that everyone is fairly treated.
An industrial relations lawyer can help guide a company through this and make sure that the rights of both parties are respected. Let's take a look.
Speak to an industrial relations lawyer online
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What's in this guide?
- Speak to an industrial relations lawyer online
- What is an industrial relations lawyer?
- When should I use an industrial relations lawyer in Australia?
- Industrial relations lawyer vs Workplace safety lawyer
- What does an industrial relations lawyer include and not include?
- How effective is an industrial relations lawyer?
- Where can I find legal documents and free lawyer quotes online?
What is an industrial relations lawyer?
Industrial relations is an area of law which frequently changes and tends to shift with the political climate. An industrial relations lawyer is one who continuously studies and is knowledgeable about industrial relations and labour law. These lawyers represent and advise employees, including organisations from the corporate and public sector, on employment law issues and workplace disputes.
The relationship between an employer and an employee in the workplace is delicate but fundamental. This relationship can define the employee's experience in the workplace and the success of the employer.
When should I use an industrial relations lawyer in Australia?
You might want to hire an industrial relations lawyer if you're involved in an employment-related argument or if you want to make sure that you haven't violated any employment laws. Employers can work closely with industrial relations lawyers to maximise workplace outcomes, for both employer and employees. So, you might use these legal experts at any time an industrial relations issue crops up for you. After all, a dispute can easily turn a good relationship between an employer and an employee sour, making the workplace unpleasant for other employees as well.
Hiring an industrial relations lawyer in the early years of your company can also help with educating and familiarising yourself with national and state employment laws. This can ensure that any workplace rules and regulations you set or documents you draw up complies with those laws. Doing so can work to minimise the occurrence of costly disputes in the future.
Industrial relations lawyer vs Workplace safety lawyer
A workplace safety lawyer can help draft and review policies on maintaining a safe working environment in compliance with the Workplace Health and Safety regulations. This lawyer aims to ensure that workplaces protect the health, safety and welfare of employees (including contractual and remote workers) and other people at work.
Contrastingly, an industrial relations lawyer deals with the relationship between employees and employers. This type of lawyer helps with issues that can arise because of wage disputes, unfair dismissal, bullying or harassment in the workplace, discrimination and employment contract disputes.
What does an industrial relations lawyer include and not include?
What's typically included
An industrial relations lawyer helps with employment law because of how entwined it is with industrial relations. They assess the issues, and help both employers and employees arrive at solutions with their best interest in mind.
These lawyers will help guide employers and employees on the steps to take to ensure the workplace is fair to all. Their work includes:
- Redundancy and termination of employment
- Unfair contracts and breach of an employment contract
- Applications for unfair dismissal
- Brainstorming effective strategies to prevent disputes and industrial action.
What's typically not included
- A specialist industrial relations lawyer does not usually deal with acquisitions, corporate financing, corporate restructuring, insolvency, litigation or mergers. They also do not typically help with family law, personal injury, real estate or criminal law matters.
How effective is an industrial relations lawyer?
An industrial relations lawyer can be both effective if you hire them at the first sign of a dispute, or, even better, from the beginning of your company's establishment. It could be risky to leave any issues to persist and potentially become worse; instead, it can be an effective move to consult a highly experienced industrial relations lawyer to arrive at practical solutions that will resolve the issue.
An industrial relations lawyer can be effective in a range of industries. This includes but is not limited to manufacturing, construction, aged-health care, on hire services, financial services, retail and the property sector.
Where can I find legal documents and free lawyer quotes online?
There are several online legal services where you can contact experienced lawyers and avail of legal document templates to use.
Here's some more information on where to find free industrial relations lawyer quotes and online legal resources:
- Lawpath. Compare fixed price quotes of different lawyers from Lawpath's team of experts. For as low as $24 per month, you can gain access to more than 300 legal documents with unlimited revisions and edits.
- LegalVision. LegalVision's employment specialists can assist with employment law advice and contract drafting at a quick turnaround time. Their lawyers can help you with reviewing employment contracts as well as resolving employment disputes. A free consultation is available.
- Sprintlaw. The legally trained consultants at Sprintlaw provide a fixed-fee quote to speak with a lawyer through a platform of your choice. They provide hassle-free and cost-effective communication for small businesses. You can apply for a membership at an annual fee of $799 which gives you 15% off fixed quote services, unlimited phone consultations and free updates to any documents prepared for you.
- Employsure. Get advice, support and documentation that complies with Australia's Fair Work Act. You can contact employsure 24/7 via a call helpline to get expert advice on workplace relations.
- Fair Work Helpline. This helpline provides free and confidential initial advice for small business owners and is available 24/7.
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