Education

Education is at the core of the national agenda for change in Australia.

As education becomes an increasingly valuable commodity to both the national and global economy, it is essential that employers create high-performance workplace cultures that are productive and compliant with our constantly changing workplace laws.

How our lawyers can assist child-care centres, schools, colleges or universities

The education team at FCB Workplace Law is experienced in working with a diverse range of education providers, from small, privately run, local child-care centres, to large, private colleges and government-funded tertiary institutions with thousands of students. As a result, our lawyers are adept at understanding the industry as a whole, as well as taking the time to understand the specific institution we are assisting.

All educational institutions are made up of a range of stakeholders (students, academic and non-academic staff, unions and parents) whose responsibilities and interests vary. Furthermore, schools are obliged to investigate allegations of reportable conduct against staff. This means that when complaints or disputes emerge, they need to be investigated and resolved swiftly and sensitively.

Our lawyers focus on helping our clients operating in the sector to navigate the complexities of workplace law by providing innovative, flexible and practical solutions that are tailored to their particular institution.

They provide legal advice on employment law, industrial relations, and workplace health and safety (WHS) issues affecting the education sector.

They place a great deal of emphasis on keeping our clients who operate within the education sector informed about the latest developments in employment law. Their industry-specific briefings and round-table workshops are particularly highly regarded.

How our workplace relations consultants can assist child-care centres, schools, colleges or universities

Our workplace relations consultants are focused on developing solutions that prevent problems in workplace relations emerging in educational institutions in the first place.

They take the time to understand an institution’s organisational culture, so that any solution we recommend is not only tailored to its requirements but fits its budget.

This type of work can range from providing advice on systems and processes to minimise the chance of disputes emerging, to making suggestions for improving the efficiency of an organisation by adopting technological solutions, as well as conducting investigative work.

Our areas of expertise

Our education team works with:

  • Pre-schools
  • Independent primary and secondary schools
  • After-school care providers
  • Vocational training providers
  • Colleges
  • Universities.

Workplace relations issues we have managed for clients in the education sector include:

  • Drafting contracts of employment and workplace policies
  • Conducting complex and sensitive workplace investigations into alleged misconduct or unlawful behaviours involving employees, contractors and/or students
  • Representing clients in workplace relations–related litigation involving employees or students (including breach of contract claims, negligence, dismissals and unlawful conduct in the workplace)
  • Providing pragmatic and efficient strategies for performance management, employee misconduct and executive departures
  • Developing, negotiating and implementing enterprise bargaining agreements
  • Devising enterprise bargaining strategies
  • Resolving industrial and bargaining disputes in the Fair Work Commission
  • Advising on allegations of discrimination, bullying or harassment
  • Advising on disability discrimination complaints by students and parents
  • Advising on allegations of bullying and cyber-bullying, involving both staff and students
  • Advising on sexual harassment compliance
  • Resolving claims of sexual assault or abuse
  • Assisting with mandatory reporting of child abuse
  • Defending and resolving unfair dismissal and general protections claims
  • Providing WHS advice
  • Advising on the management of ill and injured employees
  • Setting up an injury response service (for serious injuries occurring on campus or during excursions).

Would you like to find out more?

If you would like to find out more about how we can help with workplace relations issues in the education industry, please call us on (03) 9098 9400 or email Paul O’Halloran, head of the education industry team, at pjo@fcbgroup.com.au.