Employment Law Advice for Businesses
MKI Legal has lots of experience in assisting small-to-medium businesses owners deal with employment law issues. Fair Work laws can be complex, so it’s important to get expert assistance to help you navigate through it correctly.
Fair Work Advice for Employers
We provide expert fair work advice for employers to help you understand your rights as an employer and your business obligations to ensure that you don’t contravene workplace laws.
If you’re an employee, visit our pages here.
How We Can Help Your Business
Defence Against Claims
If an employee has commenced an unfair dismissal, general protections, discrimination, underpayment or any other claim, we can defend your business.
We can help prepare responsive court documents that need to be filed, engage in negotiations with the employee, represent you in court and advise you on how to best navigate the process.
It’s easy for workers to lodge dismissal claims. We have seen a significant number of self-submitted claims in the past. To prevent any damage to your business, it’s best to have professional assistance from an experienced employment lawyer.
Sometimes the business needs to respond to baseless allegations.
We helped the business professionally deal with this matter, while reducing the stress on the leadership team.
MKI Legal can help you understand how strong your defence is, potential risks and how to minimise them. We also take care of all correspondence with the employee, with a view of trying to settle the claim on favourable terms.
When we defend a business from an employee claim, it’s often a good opportunity to look at existing employee contracts, workplace policies and procedures to help reduce the chance of future claims happening.
Going through this experience can be stressful, but MKI Legal can help you defend the case, and minimise future risks. Contact us today for a free discussion about your claim.
Employee Threatening To Start A Claim
We can still help your business if a claim has not yet started but an employee is making threats to sue or has made a complaint.
Sometimes that involves negotiating with the employee and entering into settlement agreements that release you and the business from liabilities (therefore preventing a claim for starting in the first place).
We helped the business understand their rights and responsibilities by using the legal framework to help the owner resolve the issue with the staff member.
Dealing with employees who misbehave can be quite stressful. Business owners can be uncertain what steps to take to ensure that lawful processes are followed.
If you do the process wrong, the employee can sue for unfair dismissal or breach of general protections.
MKI Legal can help guide you through the process of properly disciplining an employee, and if appropriate, assist in terminating their employment.
By following the correct steps, you can minimise the chances of a claim being lodged and minimise liability.
Assisting in Performance Management for Employees
If an employee is not performing to the required standards, the employee might need to be put on a performance management plan.
This is basically a process where you give an employee an opportunity to improve their performance. If the employee doesn’t improve after being given a fair and ample opportunity to do so, then the business will generally have the grounds to terminate the employee.
Doing this process correctly reduces the chance of employees making a claim if they are ultimately terminated. Learn more about the procedures here.
Employees vs. Contractors
Businesses can have a difficult time deciding whether to engage workers as employees or contractors.
Getting this wrong can have big implications – like fines, back pay, interest and reputational damage.
We can advise on whether a contractor or employee is the best arrangement for your business, and prepare contracts that protect your interests.
Preparing employment contracts correctly helps minimise risks and ensures your business complies with the Fair Work Act.
Having good employment contracts makes it easier to take disciplinary action, like enacting a lawful dismissal.
Good employment contracts can properly protect intellectual property, prevent employees poaching customers and staff, and restrain unfair competition by former employees.
We prepare Employment contracts that comply with the Fair Work Act and minimise the chances of claims being brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman or employees.
‘Getting it wrong’ can result in significant consequences. The Fair Work Ombudsman can impose serious penalties on businesses and owners. You may also face reputational damages to the business and you may be ordered to pay significant fines and compensation.
Employees who are successful in an unfair dismissal claim can get up to 6 months of pay. If they’re successful in a general protections claim, compensation can be much more (as it’s uncapped) and the business can be ordered to pay for psychological damage and be heavily fined.
Business owners who are involved in the breach of workplace laws can be joined as accessories in contraventions and may be personally liable. Directors, HR managers, accountants, and others involved in the breaches of workplace laws can be joined as an accessory.
From Fair Work:“Businesses who fail to follow workplace laws are at risk of paying up to $66,600 per contravention, and up to $13,320 for individuals. These penalties increase for serious contraventions: up to $133,200 per contravention for an individual and $666,000 per contravention for companies.”
We are able to assist businesses in all aspects of employment law, including:
- Providing advice and assistance in respect to business restructure and redundancy;
- Conducting workplace investigations;
- Advising and dealing with issues arising from workplace safety and liaising with WorkSafe or the Department of Mines and Petroleum on your behalf.
Repeated instances of inappropriate, unprofessional conduct and neglect of duties found to be valid reasons for termination
FWC Orders Compensation for Employee over ‘Surprising’ Dismissal : Lessons from bullying and harassment lawyers