Employment

Overview

Our team advises on the challenges posed by a constantly changing regulatory environment, which can have major effects on your organisation’s performance and reputation. We're experts when it comes to managing significant legal issues arising from employment relationships.

We have a go-to employment practice for sensitive, high profile and/or complex claims and disputes, including defending significant claims brought by senior executives.  We also have extensive experience advising on strategic industrial relations and workforce planning, and providing advice on all aspects of employment relationships from start to finish.

We regularly advise and represent multinationals and ASX listed corporations at a federal level, and across all states and territories. Our employment lawyers have extensive experience advising employers across a range of sectors on all aspects of:

  • employment law
  • workplace relations
  • discrimination law
  • employment claims, disputes and grievances
  • workplace investigations
  • industrial relations and collective bargaining
  • executive remuneration and benefits
  • incentives
  • corporate reorganisations and acquisitions
  • outsourcing, secondments and employee transfers
  • work health and safety.

We regularly act in proceedings involving post-employment restraints, industrial disputes, breaches of confidentiality obligations, and claims of adverse action, unfair dismissal, discrimination, harassment and bullying. We also regularly appear before federal and state courts, tribunals and the Fair Work Commission.

Experience

Advisory

Jemena

Assisting with major corporate restructuring including advising in respect of introduction of change and dispute processes in various enterprise agreements, managing union claims in respect of employee entitlements and advising in respect of transfer of business issues.

Qantas

Advising on a suite of employment agreements applicable across various classifications.

Swissport Pty Ltd

Assisted Swissport (formerly Aerocare) with drafting, negotiating and bargaining a new Enterprise Agreement.

Retail client

Advising a major retailer on a payroll audit across its operations which included advising on award and enterprise agreement interpretation issues, internal and external communications plans and managing regulator enquiries.

Yahoo!7

Advised on a large scale restructure following Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo's operating business globally, merging Yahoo with AOL and the creation of Oath. The matter involved advising on the redundancies of a significant proportion of its workforce in Australia, including within its senior executive leadership team.

Employment class actions

Advising a number of clients in relation to proposed employment class action proceedings regarding alleged sham contracting and underpayments of employees.

Disputes

Qantas

Representing the Qantas Group in successful Full Court appeal proceedings and in other claims before the Supreme Court of Victoria. Advising on executive separations and claims, including representation in proceedings.

Michelle Guthrie v Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Acted in the proceedings commenced by Michelle Guthrie in the Federal Court against the Australian Broadcasting Corporation regarding the termination of her employment and in relation to various parliamentary inquiries regarding the matter. The matter was successfully resolved.

Seven Network (Operations) Ltd

Acted in the proceedings commenced by Seven Network in the New South Wales Supreme Court and the Federal Court, against a senior sales executive to enforce her post-employment non-compete obligations, delaying her commencing a sales role at Network Ten. The matter was successfully resolved.

TechnologyOne Ltd

Acting for one of Australia’s largest enterprise software companies, in discrimination and harassment and general protections proceedings initially commenced in the Australian Human Rights Commission and which are now being heard in the Federal Circuit Court.

Swissport Pty Ltd

Acting for Swissport (formerly Aerocare) on its ongoing enterprise bargaining and related industrial disputes with the Transport Workers' Union of Australia. We advise in respect of multiple sets of proceedings in the Federal Court and Fair Work Commission.

APN Outdoor Group

Successful representation in relation to claims of alleged discrimination and unfair dismissal. Advising on employment issues arising from the merger of APN Outdoor with JCDecaux.

South32

Advising on operations in respect of various supervisors and operators & trades enterprise bargaining processes. This included advising and appearing in the FWC in respect of the protected action ballots, providing strategic advice in respect of the bargaining process and relevant FWC applications and managing industrial action including lock outs.

Jemena

Assisting with major corporate restructuring including advising in respect of introduction of change and dispute processes in various enterprise agreements, managing union claims in respect of employee entitlements and advising in respect of transfer of business issues.

Recognition

Jan Dransfield, Ruveni Kelleher and Louise Russell are ranked as leading lawyers in Employment Law.
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018-2020
Ranked as a leading firm in Employment Law.
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2020
They are approachable, easy to work with and can condense the complex issues into easy-to-understand concepts.
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2019
Recommended as a leading Employment Law Firm (Employer Representation)
Doyle's Guide 2019
"They're knowledgeable on employment law, always prompt and they give us additional advice. It's more like a partnership than working with another organisation."
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2019
Jan Dransfield, Ruveni Kelleher and Louise Russell are listed as leading lawyers in Labour & Employment Law.
Best Lawyers Australia, 2019
Louise Russell is listed as a leading lawyer in Occupational Health & Safety Law.
Best Lawyers Australia, 2019
Jan Dransfield is listed as a leading lawyer in Employee Benefits Law.
Best Lawyers Australia, 2019
Ruveni Kelleher ears praise for her "very forensic, detailed and pragmatic approach" as well as for being "creative in coming up with strategies to deal with complicated issues."
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2020
"Great business knowledge and a deep understanding of employment law."
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018
Ruveni Kelleher, Luci Mummé and Louise Russell are recommended in Employment Law.
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018
"Johnson Winter & Slattery is an excellent law firm. The lawyers are always accessible and provide timely, strategic advice. In litigation matters, they have the right mix of lawyers to do different levels of work required."
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018
"Excellent, efficient and good value for money."
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018
Jan Dransfield "is an excellent litigator and handles complex litigious matters calmly and strategically".
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018
Ruveni Kelleher has a "very impressive, professional and pragmatic approach, which is right for my business".
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2018
Louise Russell has "great industry knowledge and excellent judgement".
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018
"They have come to understand us as a company and understand our sector and business."
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2017

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