Workplace Relations & Safety


We use our extensive experience and knowledge to anticipate issues and deliver quality advice to ensure that our clients maintain practical employment relationships with all their stakeholders.

We advise corporate employers across all industry groups. Our expert team works with our clients to provide timely and practical advice on all aspects of workplace relations as management of staff becomes increasingly intricate and complex in today’s business environment.

Our core capabilities include:

  • Representing clients in courts and tribunals
  • Advising on State and Federal employment legislation and minimum terms and conditions
  • Drafting contracts of employment and employment policies
  • Advising on occupational safety and health matters including defending safety prosecutions
  • Incident response and management
  • Provision of tailored training and board briefings
  • Advising on performance management, misconduct and termination of employment
  • Advising on protected industrial action and enterprise bargaining
  • Discrimination, harassment and bullying claims
  • Drafting independent contractor agreements and advising on contractor arrangements
  • Advising on the employment aspects of the sale of businesses

Claims for unfair dismissal, adverse action and discrimination

If one of your former employees has lodged proceedings in the Fair Work Commission, Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Equal Opportunity Commission or the Australian Human Rights Commission you will ordinarily be required to provide a written response to the allegations and then invited to attend a conciliation conference.

For many employers, the legal process can be daunting particularly where an employer is not familiar with the law, does not understand the potential liability the employer could face and has no prior experience in participating in conciliations. 

Our Workplace Relations Team have the expertise to help and with our fixed fee packages, you can be confident that your legal costs will not run out of control.  In many claims we are able to, for a fixed fee, meet with you to obtain instructions about the claim, provide advice on the merits of the claim and potential liability, draft the relevant response documentation and then represent your business during the conciliation conference. 

Initial consult

If your business is facing difficult employment or safety issues our initial consultation will provide you with the opportunity to meet with one of our senior practitioners for 1 hour for a fixed fee.  The initial consultation will provide you with an opportunity to explain the issues that you are facing, obtain broad advice and determine how next to proceed. 

Employment contract review

Are your employment contracts up to date? We can review your employment contracts for a fixed fee.  As part of this review you will be provided with a report setting out whether your contracts of employment indicate you may be failing to meet the minimum employment standards, highlighting potential problem areas and suggesting how you might best structure your employment arrangements.

Performance management and misconduct

Managing poor performance and misconduct can be difficult especially if your business does not have dedicated human resource personnel.  When poor performance is managed promptly you increase the odds that the employee’s performance will improve minimising the risk of legal proceedings and improving business efficiency.  If it is handled poorly it can take significant amounts of valuable company time, result in litigation and impact on staff morale.

If you need help on managing a particular employee our Workplace Relations Team can guide you through the process advising of your rights and obligations and providing practical assistance in drafting communications to the employee. 

We also can prepare a tailored performance management and misconduct guides for your business so that your managers and supervisors have the information needed to appropriately respond to such situations when they arise.  If required we can also run training sessions for your business on successful performance and misconduct management.

HR hotline

Many businesses do not have the ability to have dedicated internal human resources advisors.  In these circumstances we often see that this role ends up falling back to financial staff or senior management who often do not have the time nor the specialist experience to adequately deal with the day to day employment issues that arise in the workplace.

We can provide businesses with the ability to alleviate the pressure by offering a HR Hotline advisory service where we provide the business with access to the members of our Workplace Relations Team for a set monthly retainer.  Providing your business with the security that you can call our team as and when issues arise to get the right advice and determine what needs to happen.  Our team are well regarded as trusted advisors for many businesses.

Migration and Australian Visa Services

Many businesses either employ a person who is foreign, or have a need to bring a foreign person to Australia to fill a position in their business.  Any person needing to travel to or live in Australia to work or conduct business must obtain an Australian Visa.  There are numerous Australian visas available for this purpose.  Australian Migration Law is complex and frequently changing and therefore a Registered Migration Agent or Migration Lawyer should be consulted to assist with obtaining the most appropriate visa, especially where longer term visa options are required. 

We have a Registered Migration Agent and Migration Lawyer who is able to provide advice in regard to migration issues and Australian work visas.  We are also able to assist with and manage any visa applications.  In some cases this service can be provided for a fixed fee, which gives the client  the advantage of knowing before the work commences how much the fees will be.

For more information on any of the above please contact Stephen Kemp or Renae Harding on +61 8 9426 6601 on any of these options.

  • We acted on behalf of a large Port Authority, negotiating a new enterprise agreement for a large portion of its workforce. 

  • We advised a large WA company in its acquisition of another company and regarding the Fair Work Act’s associated transfer of business provisions, including the transfer of employees and employee entitlements. 

  • We defended a government shire in unfair dismissal claims.

  • We reviewed an environmental services company’s employment contracts to ensure compliance with the new Modern Awards. 

  • We advised a large mining company on restructuring and employee redundancies.
  • We obtained a 4 year Australian working visa for a foreign person, so that person could establish an Australian arm of a foreign business.  We also obtained sponsorship rights for that business so they would be eligible in the future to sponsor additional foreign staff to work in Australia.

Stephen Kemp

Lead Partner

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+61 8 9426 6633
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Renae Harding

Special Counsel

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+61 8 9426 6802
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Shannon Walker

Senior Associate

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+61 8 9426 6772
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Samantha Lyon

Associate

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+61 8 9426 6615
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