Queensland Law Society

Workplace and employment

A lawyer can help you discover (and understand) your entitlements in the workplace, whether you are an employee or an employer.


What kind of lawyer?

For most legal issues that arise in the workplace, you will need a lawyer who works in employment law. They might call themselves an employment lawyer, a workplace relations lawyer, or an industrial relations lawyer, but they are all very much the same.

Top tip 1: If you have a complex matter, you may need a workplace relations accredited specialist. Just look for the symbol next to their name.

Find your lawyer now.

Top tip 2: Some lawyers who work in employment law are either employer-focused, or employee-focused. Make sure you speak with the right lawyer for you, depending on your role.

 

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When to seek employment law advice

All workplaces in Australia are held to the same set of standards, regardless of the industry. Those standards mean that every worker has the right to fair pay in a safe, inclusive workplace that is reasonably managed. 

To give you an idea of what those standards look like, here are some of the most common reasons people seek legal advice from an employment lawyer.

Harassment and bullying

When we think of workplace health and safety, we tend to think of physical hazards and safety procedures. But did you know that a healthy and safe workplace is also one that is free from bullying and harassment?

If you are experiencing a course of unnecessary behaviour from someone that makes you feel uncomfortable, targeted, harassed, or singled-out, you should raise it with your manager or employer as soon as possible. If the behaviour doesn’t stop (or the problem is with your manager or employer), speak to an employment lawyer to discover what solutions are available to you under the law.

If you or someone you know needs crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

For more information about injuries in the workplace, click here.

Unfair dismissal

Losing a job is stressful, but if you’ve lost work due to harsh, unreasonable, or just plain unfair reasons, it can feel entirely unjust.

If you have unfairly lost your job, you may be entitled to make a claim against your former employer, even if you resigned. A claim can get your job back or, if that’s not really tenable, you can be awarded financial compensation.

To find out if you are eligible, speak to an employment lawyer today.

Discrimination

Everyone is entitled to employment free from discrimination.

If you feel an employer has treated you unfairly because of your gender, religion, parental or marital status, race, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability/injury, pregnancy, political opinion, or nationality, an employment lawyer can help you enforce your rights.

Employment contracts and restrictions on future employment

It may be pretty informal, but remember: an employment contract is still a contract. It’s important to understand what you are signing up for.

Getting an employment lawyer’s advice means knowing the obligations that will be placed on you as an employee and understanding how they may impact your future (even after you leave).

How to manage your workforce

These days, managing a team can feel like a minefield for most employers.

Getting the right advice is essential to feeling in control, confident and calm in managing your workforce and in growing your business—whether you need to improve performance, manage under-performance, boost morale, change structures or make redundancies. Speaking to an employment lawyer will empower you to manage all your workforce issues confidently and effectively.


How to get started

This is just a brief glimpse into a vast area of law. For advice on workplace issues, click below to find an employment lawyer.

 

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