Special Counsel & Senior Product Manager
Infrastructure & Construction
We are Australia’s leading workplace legal and human resources solutions business. We specialise in providing you with the highest quality employment law advice. In addition, our team of human resources (HR) consultants devise smart ways to ensure that you manage your people as efficiently as possible and reduce the chances of workplace problems arising. We can also provide you with migration advice, a smart technology solution designed specifically for Australian businesses and a complete workplace management package for smaller businesses.
At FCB Group, we focus on providing you with the best possible workplace relations and legal advisory service. This can range from providing you with straight legal advice, to drawing on our knowledge of employment law, migration law, workplace relations consulting and technology to come up with a holistic solution that will make your business more efficient and productive. We’re also responsive (meaning we understand that workplace problems don’t necessarily occur between the hours of nine and five). We’re pleased that so many of our clients agree that we’re meeting our objectives.
At FCB Group, we believe it is the quality of our team of employment lawyers, workplace consultants and technology experts that separates us from our competitors. The majority of our lawyers have interdisciplinary backgrounds, meaning that they draw not only on their understanding of workplace relations law to solve your problems, but also on their knowledge of how workplaces actually operate in the real world. The team includes three accredited workplace relations specialists. In addition, our lawyers and consultants have specialist knowledge of a range of industries, including infrastructure and construction, manufacturing, health and aged care, education, retail, hospitality and leisure, and recruitment.
As a practice specialising in employment law, workplace relations, and work health and safety (WHS), we are pleased to have received recognition for our work. Chambers and Partners 2015 described FCB Workplace Law as ‘a good boutique with a great reputation’. The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2015 stated that FCB Workplace Law’s team is ‘responsive, business relevant, knowledgeable and good value for money’. FCB Workplace Law is also recognised in Best Lawyers 2017 and shortlisted for Employment Law Specialist Firm of the Year in the 2016 Australasian Law Awards.
FCB Workplace Law is Australia’s leading workplace relations law firm. We practise only in the area of employment law. We do it all day, every day. As a result, we are very good at it and, over the past 25 years, we have built one of the most highly regarded employment law practices in Australia. In terms of size, we are larger than the workplace relations teams in many of the large full-service firms. Our expertise in employment law is unparalleled and our team of lawyers includes three accredited workplace law specialists.
FCB Group offers HR Services through an expert team of experienced Human Resources consultants who specialise in supporting your people and culture functions. Whether you have a short-term assignment or a long-term project or parental leave cover – we have a group of individuals who are available at very short notice to cover any HR gaps in your business.
FCB Smart Visa helps employers who need to attract and retain the best human talent in a highly competitive global marketplace. We enable clients to have peace of mind knowing they can have movement of key employees, crucial to the success of major projects, where and when they need them. We deliver timely, tailor-made, sector specific advice on all matters involving the ever-changing Australian immigration laws. Unlike other providers, FCB Smart Visa is part of FCB Group, which delivers complete people management solutions to more than 10'000 Australian businesses, including some of the country's most recognisable brand names. We have particular expertise in the areas of IT, creative industries, recruitment, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, health & aged care and sport.
enableHR is a state-of-the-art online information and management system that delivers affordable and best-practice HR and WHS processes, tools, advice and record management. Widely regarded as the most sophisticated technological workplace solution on the market, enableHR provides you with a cloud-based employee management tool that results in greater efficiency and higher productivity. It can be used by enterprises, businesses, small-to-medium sized businesses, industry organisations and not-for-profit organisations.
HR Assured is our complete workplace relations solution for small-to-medium sized businesses. By providing you with a comprehensive human resource solution, HR Assured helps reduce the risks associated with managing people. Most importantly, it makes businesses more efficient and is also cost effective.
At FCB Group, we have been advising small and large businesses operating in the building, infrastructure, services and facilities management industries on workplace relations strategies and employment issues for over 20 years. Our infrastructure and construction team helps clients with the full spectrum of employment arrangements. We are also experienced in managing disputes, enterprise agreements and project contracts. If required, we can develop workplace management plans specifically tailored to this sector that streamline human resources processes and procedures for increased efficiency.
At FCB Group, we are very aware that, over the past 30 years, the industry has transformed. Operators today need to develop sophisticated industrial relations strategies if they are to remain competitive. Our manufacturing team helps strengthen our clients’ businesses by advising on industrial relations governance, developing innovative enterprise bargaining agreement strategies, setting up initiatives that drive workforce engagement, developing bespoke contracts and policies, assisting with union management, defending employment claims, and managing work health and safety issues. In addition, we can help companies that recruit workers from overseas to navigate Australia’s complex migration laws.
At FCB Group, we have specialised knowledge of the health and aged care industry in Australia. As an industry that is undergoing considerable growth, the sector is facing numerous challenges, especially in the area of people management. Our health and aged care team regularly assists clients with compliance, cultural and workforce development issues. We also advise businesses operating in this sector on recruitment and hiring (both pre-hiring and on-boarding processes), organisational change and restructuring, management of ill and injured workers, and workplace investigations. In addition, we provide assistance and advice on enterprise agreements and bargaining.
At FCB Group, we know that most retailers are finding it challenging to grow their businesses in the current economic climate. In addition, workplace laws are constantly changing, so remaining compliant can be a constant struggle. Our knowledge of the retail sector is unparalleled. We partner with the Australian Retailers Association and are currently representing a number of industry associations during the Fair Work Commission’s award review process. Our lawyers and consultants combine technical expertise with commercial pragmatism to offer long-term solutions that are specifically tailored to the requirements of retail businesses and prevent workplace issues emerging in the first place.
At FCB Group, we are very aware that, as people have become more focused on the activities they enjoy away from work, the hospitality and leisure industry has grown rapidly. We also know that in an industry built around adaptable, flexible workforces, there is always the potential for workplace issues to emerge that can quickly escalate into major problems. Our hospitality and leisure team can advise on all types of statutory entitlements and remuneration, as well as develop commercially pragmatic and efficient strategies for performance management. We can also help to devise, negotiate and implement enterprise bargaining agreements. Finally, if necessary, we represent clients in all types of employment-related litigation (including unfair dismissal, bullying, breach of contract and discrimination-related claims).
At FCB Group, we know that the key to a successful recruitment business is satisfied workers and candidates. We also know that workplace relations and safety compliance under tripartite employment arrangements can be challenging. Our recruitment team is experienced in managing client and workforce relationships in the recruitment sector. To help recruitment businesses remain competitive, we provide strategic advice on workplace relations governance, develop processes and procedures that ensure good workforce and expectations management, draft industry-specific contracts and policies, defend employee claims and grievances, and prepare complete workplace health and safety management systems.
FCB Group has been advising national and state sporting bodies, player associations and professional athletes for more than 20 years. In addition, FCB Group continues to enjoy a longstanding partnership with Fitness Australia and a number of key franchise businesses and individual operators, delivering innovative and practical workplace management and compliance solutions across the fitness industry.
Special Counsel & Senior Product Manager
Infrastructure & Construction
By Adrian Turner WorkSafe Victoria will soon commence issuing infringement noti...
A recent decision handed down by the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has confirmed that for the purposes of general protections claims under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), the workplace right of being able to “make a complaint or inquiry…in relation to his or her employment” must require that the complaint or inquiry has a source of entitlement at law (and such entitlement is identified in the claim). The appellant in the case of Alam v National Australia Bank Limited  FCAFC 178, Ms Alam, had been employed by National Australia Bank (NAB) for only three months when her employment was terminated. Ms Alam alleged that the termination occurred because she had exercised a workplace right, being the making of complaints and inquiries and proposing to make an anti-bullying application to the Fair Work Commission. Under s340 of the FW Act, it is unlawful to take adverse action, including terminating an employee, because that employee has exercised or proposed to exercise a workplace right (including making a complaint or inquiry in relation to their employment). Ms Alam asserted that she had made 12 complaints during her three months of employment......
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on 22 October 2021 the Western Australian Government issued the Primary Health Care Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions (Directions) which sets out vaccination requirements and entry restrictions to primary health care facilities for unvaccinated primary health care workers. What do the Directions say? Vaccination requirements: The Directions provide that: from 12.01am on 1 November 2021, a primary healthcare worker who is not at least partially vaccinated cannot enter or remain at a primary healthcare facility. from 12.01am of 1 December 2021, a primary healthcare worker who is not fully vaccinated cannot enter or remain at a primary healthcare facility. individuals who are not primary healthcare workers (or are such workers, but are not at the facility in their capacity as a worker – for example, as a patient) are not captured by these vaccination restrictions. There are limited exceptions to these rules, including where the person is responding to an emergency (other than in their capacity as a primary healthcare worker) or is exercising a right of entry per an entry permit under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)......
On 20 October 2021, the Western Australian Government announced that a mandatory vaccination policy for most occupations and workforces in the state will be introduced in a phased approach. The policy follows the existing mandates in place for workers in high-risk industries, including those interacting with people at an increased risk of being infected with COVID-19, or people who are vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19. The phased approach outlines mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for expanded industries in Western Australia, as well as a requirement for all critical workers to be vaccinated in the event of a lockdown or similar restrictions in order to attend work. What are the ‘groups’ under the phased approach? There are three main groups under the phased approach. These are: Group 1: industries that are determined to have high transmission risk or vulnerability risk, or are necessary or critical to avoid catastrophic risk to the safety of the community. Group 2: industries and workforces that are deemed critical to the ongoing delivery of business and the function of the community. Group 3: those who must be fully vaccinated to attend work during a lockdown......
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s annual report, which was released on Wednesday 20 October 2021, reveals that almost $150 million in lost wages has been recouped for workers in the 2020-2021 financial year, which is 20 per cent more than the FWO’s recovery efforts in 2019-20 and almost five times the amount recovered in 2017-18. This demonstrates is that underpayment of workers is rife across the country, is growing each year, and is occurring in businesses of all shapes and sizes, from large listed corporates like Woolworths, right down to small-to-medium-sized businesses such as cleaning firms and family-run cafes. The contraventions span the full range of mild to serious, and include self-reporting entities as well as those who were found by the FWO to have demonstrated a blatant disregard for the law and their employees’ entitlements. According to the report, the Fair Work Ombudsman entered 19 Enforceable Undertakings with businesses during the reporting period, which resulted in $81.7 million of back-pay and $3.16 million in contrition payments from companies. Of the 19 Enforceable Undertakings, 17 involved self-reporting of non-compliance by large......
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on 20 October 2021 the South Australian Government issued the Emergency Management (Healthcare Setting Workers Vaccination No 2) (COVID-19) Direction 2021 (Directions) which mandates vaccination against COVID-19 in certain healthcare settings. The Directions have taken a phased approach to mandatory vaccination requirements, which groups certain types of healthcare facilities into either Phase 1 Healthcare Facilities or Phase 2 Healthcare Facilities. The date upon which vaccination requirements come into effect under the Directions differs between each phase. What is a Phase 1 or Phase 2 Healthcare Facility? A Phase 1 healthcare setting includes public hospitals, private hospitals, and ambulance services. A Phase 2 healthcare setting includes: primary community healthcare facilities; pharmacies; specialist outpatient facilities; private pathology centres; private radiology centres; defence health settings; facilities for the collection, manufacture and distribution of blood and biological products; Aboriginal community controlled health services; any location where the Department of......
In a crucial decision handed down on Monday 18 October 2021 with a live-stream audience of 40,000 viewers, the NSW Supreme Court has upheld the power of the NSW Government to issue Public Health Orders mandating COVID-19 vaccination for specific categories of workers, by dismissing claims that the directives compromise an individual’s “right” to bodily autonomy. The two proceedings of Kassam v Hazzard; Henry v Hazzard  NSWSC 1320, heard together, named as Defendants the NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Brad Hazzard, the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant, the State of NSW and the Commonwealth of Australia. The case was brought by 10 workers in the health, aged care, construction, and education industries who argued that the health orders made under s7(2) of the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW) are invalid. These workers, who had refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, challenged the Public Health Orders on several grounds including unreasonableness, that it was outside the Government’s scope of power to make them, and that it was unconstitutional as the Orders were effectively civil conscription. In his judgment, Justice Robert......
In preparation for its new anti-sexual-harassment jurisdiction, the Fair Work Commission (Commission) has launched an open consultation process to collate community feedback on proposed amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Australian Human Rights Act 1986. The amending legislation, the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Act 2021, alters both the powers of the Commission and the obligations of employers when dealing with claims of harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace. Inspired by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ Respect@Work recommendations, the new anti-sexual-harassment jurisdiction is aimed at extending the Commission’s anti-bullying powers, so that orders can be issued to stop future occurrences of sexual harassment in the workplace following a single instance of sexual harassment. Under these new provisions, complainants of sexual harassment in the workplace will be able to access expedient, inexpensive and informal complaint mechanisms to deal with instances of unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favours or any unwelcome......
FCB is pleased to announce that three of its employees have been shortlisted as finalists for the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards for 2021. Libby Boyce, Head of Operations at FCB has been named as a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2021 for Legal Operations Professional of the Year. Adele Granata, Senior Associate at FCB has been named as a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2021 for Senior Associate of the Year – SME law. Georgia Williams, Legal PA at FCB has been named as a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2021 for Legal Support Professional of the Year. The Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards is the benchmark for excellence, recognising the outstanding women influencing the legal profession in Australia. Nominees display essential leadership qualities and are role models for future female leaders in law to aspire to. The Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2021 was created to celebrate the women taking charge and influencing change within the industry. The event is also a platform for women leading in their field to be acknowledged for their achievements and contributions to the industry as we collectively join the charge for a......
On 1 October 2021, the Victorian Premier announced that to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all ‘authorised workers’ must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to perform on-site work. On 7 October 2021, the Victorian Government released the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Directions (Directions), which provides greater clarity with respect to the vaccination requirements for authorised workers. In this alert, we provide clarity on the Directions and how this may impact on your business. What do the Directions say? The Directions provide that the following information must be collected: Vaccination information: If a worker is, or may be, scheduled to work outside the worker’s ordinary place of residence on or after 15 October 2021, the employer of the worker must collect, record, and hold vaccination information about the worker. Vaccination information is information about a person’s vaccination status and includes information that is derived from a record of information that was made under, or in accordance with, the Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015. Booking Information – partially vaccinated and unvaccinated workers: If......