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How Sydney employment lawyers helped me

I was unfortunate enough to require services of employment lawyers in Sydney during my recent tenure with one of the multinational companies. As it stands in Australia although there are so called National Employment Standards, unless you are part of the union you really do not get any legal help unless you employ workplace specialist lawyers.

It all started innocent enough when I raised a question of my employment contract as the duties and more important, hours I was being asked to do were not part of my contract. I did my due diligence by doing as much research on the net as possible to try and find out by myself if my employer is asking me to do onerous or even tasks and hours that are against the law. Sure enough after visiting pretty much the 2 most important web pages on the subject of industrial relations and employment law, it began to be clear to me that the company has no legs to stand on and that essentially I was in the right.

I also ran my situation past a few of my friends and family and all of them said that what they were asking me to do did sound illegal to them as well. The main issue was that they were asking me to be available for customer calls, 24×7 without having any down time – there was no roster in place among about 5 account managers. So everybody, not just me, had to be on-shift all the time for their assigned accounts. Beside being outright stupid, it happened to be against Australian employment law. While others decided to grin and bear it and many left, I stuck to my guns and was determined to offer a solution first and help the company implement a better system. How did that go for me?

Know your employment contract!

First I brought it up with my manager and he said that we all agreed to stick to those 24×7 duties even after I showed him my contract that clearly had listed ‘standard hours of employment’ as 38. He did agree that I would try to come up with a roster system which I did within few days. It only took me few days as it was a no-brainer easy no fuss approach. We would have a different account manager be available for calls outside of business hours. To my surprise and I now know that my rotating roster proposal was meant to fail. employment contract Then I though, fair enough – I will have a constructive chat with human resources department so I made an appointment with a HR lady. During our initial conversation she was little surprised that this was the case for my support service delivery department. She promised to look into it and also have a chat to my manager. Later that week she messaged me advising that they were going to run this matter past company’s legal and get back to me within 3 weeks.

Exactly 3 weeks minus 1 day later, she invited me for another chat where now there was her HR manager present as well. Did they change the tune or what. They basically informed me that my working hours and conditions were in line with my contract of employment and there was nothing they could do to help me – they informed me that this came from company’s legal employment department. fair work australia ombudsman At this point any ONE employee would feel singled out and isolated. This was the time I decided to check with the Government employment agency by looking at their website and also putting the call in just to to double check. The Fair Work Australia website had a very clear guideline I’d already mentioned called National Employment Standards that outlined 10 minimum worker benefits that every employer can either match or better. Here is the link to that article here. Great article well worth reading if you have doubt about your employment conditions, pay, hours.

The company gave me no choice at this point but to get legal representation in a form of employment solicitors so surprisingly enough after doing my internet research I found McArdle Legal http://www.mcardlelegal.com.au/ via the good old fashioned phone book. What I liked about this employment law firm is that they were based in Sydney CBD and they specialise in employment law only. Things happened very quickly from here on.

All the email communication and my employment contract clearly sating that company was over-steping the boundary did nothing UNTIL my solicitors got in touch with the HR and the CEO office!! Received a call from McArdle within an hour asking me to think about what settlement I would be happy with – incredible stuff! That same morning I was all wrong and then few hours later I happened to be correct all along about my employment contract and conditions. It goes to show that my word is just not as strong as employment layers is!

Ideal way to resolve Disputes at work

A dispute can happen in the event that one or more people debate with regard to something and problems stay unresolved; these can come up at any workplace. A good and moderate dispute resolution process is valuable for the remarkable functioning of any company.

Sensible dispute resolution can assist businesses to retain good partnership with their company workers by looking into workplace situations at an early time. Workers will almost certainly be more productive and reliable if they know that their own grievances will be accepted sincerely by the business and there is the option for an independent body to support in resolving the dispute if it isn’t reconciled in the workplace.

A reliable dispute resolution system utilizing a focus on handy outcome at the organization level will often help to avoid the price of removing a claim externally at which EMPLOYMENT SOLICITORS may need to be involved. Dispute resolution is defined as the undertaking by which matters are taken to an end and this can happen in the negotiated end result, mediated outcome wherein the unbiased moderator is involved or by arbitration where an independent arbitrator or court specifies precisely how the dispute will be determined. The latter is a obligating determination which means it ought to be adhered to by both parties.
workplace despute
The majority of the major elements of a powerful dispute resolution system are simplicity, versatility to negotiate the end result prior to negotiation or arbitration, encouraging for both parties to settle on the best conclusion and options to enable local territory laws to handle these disputes in a sensible style. Such undertaking will help the disputes to be settled easily, genuinely, transparently and with the utmost accuracy and confidentiality included with them.

A powerful dispute resolution formula need not to come in conflict with the ongoing functioning of the business when possible. Any dispute resolution section in the agreement, contract or policy should require that work is to keep going normally in the course of the dispute resolution process subject to any realistic concerns about health and safety. In conclusion, here’s the suggestions for the dispute resolution best practice – this is what employers are directed to do.

1. Determine they have a simple, quick, just, undisclosed and transparent dispute resolution system set up, whether it is built-in as portion of company policy, EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT or any additional industrial act.

2. Verify workers are made aware of the existing dispute resolution guidelines.

3. Every time the dispute has arisen: work towards resolving the matter and preserving healthy working relationships, determine which dispute resolution procedure applies, adjust to a suitable system swiftly and fairly, use best efforts to take care of the problems at the workplace and where all of this is not feasible, pass the dispute to an independent mediator or arbitrator in your state.