EMPLOYMENT LAW

Greyson Legal have experience dealing with employment law issues from both an employer and employee perspective. We have the skills and understand the key areas of employment law to enable us to provide you with legal advice about your rights and obligations, including ways to minimise breaches and liability.

Our Employment Legal Services

 Greyson Legal's employment legal services encompass helping you:

  • to understand the different types of employment
  • with the formation or review of Employment Agreements | Consultancy Agreements | Contractor Agreements
  • to become familiar with the rights, duties and responsibilities as employer or employee
  • deal with breaches of Employment Agreements
  • with terminating an Employment Agreement
  • deal with unfair dismissal
  • in relation to employee restraints of trade
  • to resolve an employment dispute
  • understanding intellectual property in an employment or contractualrelationship 
  • understand what remedies are available to you arising from breach of contract or legislation  
  • comply with workplace health & safety obligations
  • to meet the National Employment Standards (NES)
  • prepare internal business employee handbooks, policies and manuals

Looking for experienced employment lawyers ? Call Greyson Legal (07) 3142 0463

Employer and Employee Rights and Obligations

There are a number of legal requirements which affect both employers and employees. These arise from different sources, for example:

  • Federal and State legislation, such as the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Awards
  • Courts of law
  • pursuant to the terms of an Employment Agreement.

As such, employment law can be quite complex. It is important that:

  • employers, in particular, are familiar with their obligations given their ongoing nature ; and
  • employees know where to go to obtain appropriate advice.

Do you need help understanding your employment law rights and obligations ?

General Employment Law Obligations

There are various obligations on employers.Some of these are more administrative in nature and result from the operation of a Business. To the extent they are applicable, some of these obligations may include:

  • providing employees with pay slips
  • meeting your record keeping obligations
  • paying your employees their correct wages
  • ensuring you have workers compensation insurance for each employee
  • remitting PAYG (pay as you go) tax instalments to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
  • paying superannuation in accordance with the Superannuation Guarantee legislation
  • providing paid annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, and other leave entitlements
  • complying with the NES 

National Employment Standards (NES)

The NES essentially provides 10 minimum entitlements which employers are required to provide in regards to their full-time and part-time employees. As a guide, the NES are:

  • Maximum 38 hour week 
  • Entitlement to flexible working arrangements
  • up to 12 months unpaid leave parental leave
  • 4 weeks annual leave
  • Personal/carer's leave, compassionate leave and unpaid family and domestic violence leave
  • Community service leave
  • Long service leave
  • paid day off on a Public holiday
  • Notice of termination and redundancy pay
  • provision of a Fair Work Information Statement

Only some of the NES entitlements apply to casual employees.

Employers need to be mindful of the application of the NES and ensure, for example, that their Employment Agreements are statutorycompliant. 

Work Health & Safety

Apart from certain exceptions, the majority of workers in Australia are protected by national uniform work health and safety laws. These laws cover a wide range of people, such as:

  • employees
  • contractors | sub- contractors
  • apprentices | trainees
  • work experience personnel
  • volunteers
  • employers who perform work themselves
  • invitees | the general public

The work health and safety laws encompass:

  • statutes, such as, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)
  • regulations; and
  • codes of practice

Generally, employers must provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to the health and safety of others.

Employees also have obligations to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions or omissions.

Need Work Health & Safety advice ?

Workplace Discrimination

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) contains provisions which make it unlawful to discriminate against someone within the workplace, such as, due to: 

  • race
  • colour
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • age
  • physical or mental disability
  • family or carer’s responsibilities
  • pregnancy
  • religion
  • political opinion
  • national extraction or social origin
  • marital status

Penalties can be imposed under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) in respect of a breach of the discrimination laws. For example, an employer operating through a corporation can face penalties up to $63,000 per contravention. 

The Federal Court can also make orders where there has been a contravention of the unlawful discrimination protections set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). These Court orders can range from injunctions to reinstatement and/or compensation.

If you an employer, we recommend you make yourself familiar with your obligations under the discrimination laws and put in place strategies to minimise this risk, such as:

  • undertaking further training/education; 
  • adopting relevant internal policies/procedures; 
  • seeking employment law advice.

If you are an employee and believe you have been discriminated against, contact us for help: info@greysonlegal.com.au

Independent Contractors and Employees

There are a number of factors to consider in assessing whether a person is an independent contractor or employee. Some of these factors might include:

Employee

  • performs work under the direction and control of another
  • work is of an ongoing nature typically work is carried out during a standard period of hours (eg. 9.00 am to 5.00 pm) 
  • the employer bears the risk - not employee
  • employer bears obligation to keep appropriate insurance - not employee
  • employer obliged to pay superannuation to employee
  • employer provides the tools
  • the employer remits employee's income tax to the ATO
  • entitled to various leave, such as annual leave, sick leave, etc

Contractor

  • higher level of control in how work is to be carried out
  • the work relates to a specific task
  • hours tend to be more flexible
  • greater onus on the person to bear risk
  • requirement to maintain their own insurance
  • may have an ABN or obligation to obtain register for an ABN and may pay GST to ATO
  • they have obligation to pay their own superannuation
  • they are required to provide their own tools
  • submits their own invoices for payment of work performed
  • pays their own income tax to the ATO
  • receives no  leave entitlements 

It is important to understand the difference between an employee and independent contractor due to the differing rights and obligations which attach to both.

Think you are an employee but not being paid as one ? Contact Greyson Legal for employment law advice. 

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 T:  (07) 3142 0463 
E:  info@greysonlegal.com.au