Industrial Law

Short Punch & Greatorix has, for many years, been providing advice to businesses and senior management and executives in the area of industrial law.

The industrial laws of Australia are complex and are littered with a history of amendments.
 
Part of the complexity has arisen as a result of the fact that each state had a separate industrial relations system and the Commonwealth had a Federal system which, periodically, overlapped with the jurisdictions of the State.
 
The industrial systems of each jurisdiction were responsible for setting minimum conditions in various workplaces as well as regulating the manner in which pay reviews were conducted and disputes regarding termination of employment were resolved.
 
In 2006, the Federal Government effectively seized control of the vast majority of the jurisdiction of the industrial laws in Australia by the introduction of their Workchoices program.  The power of the Commonwealth to enact this legislation was challenged in the High Court however the Court found that the Federal Government did have the relevant power.
 
The subsequent Workchoices legislation was widely criticised for its complexity and for its apparent ability to allow basic conditions to be stripped out of employment contracts.  The election of the Rudd Government in late 2007 resulted in a commitment to further overhaul the industrial laws.  Subsequently, the Fair Work Act was passed.  Through this law, most regulation of industrial arrangements remained at the Federal Government level.
 
It is essential that business operators be familiar with the ever changing face of industrial law in Australia.  Failure to do so can result in action many years later which can cost the business operator tens of thousands of dollars.
 
Short Punch & Greatorix have many years of experience in the industrial relations jurisdiction of Queensland and at the Federal level.  We are able to assist in providing an explanation as to the manner in which the system presently operates and any changes that are likely to be invoked.
 
Our advice can relate not only to requirements in respect of pay and conditions but also termination of employment including redundancy and severance.  We can also advise businesses in relation to their obligations in respect of transmission of business provisions.
 
Please contact Tony O'Connor, Partner for further information on Industrial Law.