National Workplace Relations Manager
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.
National Workplace Relations Manager
It isn’t uncommon for enterprise agreements to contain clauses that state pay rises apply from a specific date which may be before the time the agreement is approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and formally commences operation. However, what isn’t common is retrospectively back-paying former employees who worked under the enterprise agreement but resigned before it commenced. However, following the recent case of Murtagh v Corporation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba  FCAFC 172 the position has changed. The Full Court of the Federal Court found that two Catholic school teachers were entitled to pay raises contained in newly approved enterprise agreements, despite both teachers resigning from their employment before the enterprise agreements took effect. Here our experts explain the position as it was before this FWC decision was handed down, why businesses must get enterprise agreements right, and share the important lessons from this case. Explaining the position as it was before this FWC decision For example, an enterprise agreement may state that a pay increase applies from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2023, despite the......
“A better deal and a better future” was how the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 (Act), was marketed towards Australian workers, and since its passing in December 2022, has started the biggest industrial relations reforms we’ve seen since the introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) in 2009. Not only has this act introduced a raft of significant changes impacting workplaces across Australia, but it also introduced of tighter restrictions on the use of fixed-term and maximum-term contracts. And because these changes were announced almost a year ago and are only now about to become law, we’ve put together an in-depth guide on exactly what’s changing and what employers need to be aware of. Let’s get into it… So, what are the changes? A fixed-term employment contract specifies an end date for employment, whereas, a maximum-term contract also specifies an end date for employment, but allows the parties to terminate the contract before the specified end date. While fixed-term and maximum-term contracts allow employers the flexibility to engage staff on a needs basis, the Federal Government has criticised such use of......
The great resignation, the great reshuffle, the big quit, the great reimagination, or the great realisation... These terms have been trending in the news since early 2021, and really, they all refer to the same thing: the increase in employees leaving their jobs en masse. As well as the financial impact of staff turnover on businesses, the Great Resignation has led to the unavoidable need for employers to reassess their employee engagement, and ultimately, their employee value proposition (EVP). With the great resignation still upon us, and the quiet quitters finding their way into our workplaces, there has never been a more important time to build a high-performance culture, increase staff retention, and learn how to attract the right staff. Why? Because during the year ending February 2022, there were 13.4 million people employed in Australia, and of those 13.4 million: 1.3 million people (or 9.5 per cent of employed people) changed jobs – which was the highest rate of job mobility since 2012. The share of job mobility remained highest for professionals, at 22 per cent of those who changed jobs. 2.1 million people left or lost a job; and The annual......
Did you know that employers are obligated by law to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees? This obligation doesn’t just include physical health, it extends to mental health as well. In recent years, the focus has shifted to place employee mental health squarely in the spotlight as an important issue for employers to be across. This focus has concurrently inspired efforts to destigmatise mental health issues, especially in the workplace. Burnout, stress, and anxiety are just some of the mental health issues employees could be dealing with behind closed doors. So how can your business ensure it has the right support structures in place? Services such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) could make all the difference in combatting these kinds of psychological risks. In this article I deep dive into what an EAP is and why your business should consider adopting this service. What is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)? An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free work-based support program aimed at enhancing the emotional, mental, and psychological well-being of all employees. An EAP service allows employees to access external professional mental......
In early 2022, the High Court handed down its decisions regarding Personnel Contracting and Jamsek. This decision attracted a significant amount of interest and provided some much-needed clarity in ensuring the primary importance of contractual terms in defining the scope and nature of a particular work-related engagement. However, contrary to some commentary that followed the decisions of the High Court, the old common law ‘multi-factorial’ test has not been totally disregarded, but the High Court has clarified and limited the circumstances in which it is to be applied. The detailed consideration provided in the respective decisions has been analysed and applied in Court and Tribunal decisions that followed through 2022 where, in certain factual scenarios, different outcomes have arisen in contested disputes over employee/contractor status as compared to what would otherwise have been determined prior to the High Court’s rulings. Further proposed legislative reform, as well as certain aspects of the recent Secure Jobs, Better Pay amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) may also see an increase in the prevalence of independent contracting......
FCB is delighted to announce that it has been acknowledged as an Employer of Choice in The Australian Business Awards 2023 for the seventh consecutive year. The Australian Business Award for Employer of Choice recognises organisations that develop and nurture workplaces that maximise the full potential of their workforce through established policies, practices, and processes that demonstrate effective employee recruitment, engagement, and retention. Campbell Fisher, Managing Director of FCB, said that receiving this Award is an honour and testament to FCB’s unwavering commitment to fostering a workplace culture that values and empowers its incredible team. “As a people-first business, we recognise that our employees and our values are the heart of our company – they are the driving force behind our innovation, growth, and success and we can’t do what we do without them. Our company was founded on the foundations of family – over 30 years ago my sister and I started FCB, and today our business has continued to thrive on these same values. “FCB is all about creating better workplaces for a better world – not only for our clients and their businesses but......
Are you an NDIS provider in NSW? There’s a good chance major changes to portable long service leave entitlements are about to affect you. It isn’t uncommon for workers in the community services sector to regularly change jobs and employers. And it’s for this reason that New South Wales employers in the community services sector, especially NDIS providers, have relied on their casual and contract-based workforce as reason enough to not concern themselves with long service leave. Plans revealed by the Minns Government may be set to alter how long service leave accrues for employees who work across different employers within the community services sector, by introducing a portable long service leave scheme in the state. Why and when is portable long service leave being introduced? Long service leave entitlements developed throughout the last century have been effective in retaining staff and incentivising loyalty. Portable long service leave schemes peculiar to each state have emerged over the last decade out of recognition that the precarious nature of certain industries and evolving methods of engaging workers have left them with no option to remain with one......
Today is R U OK? Day, recognised nationally as part of the R U OK? initiative. R U OK?Day is recognised as a day of action where Australians are encouraged to ask, ‘are you OK?’ and start a meaningful conversation whenever they spot the signs that someone they care about might be struggling. In 2023, R U OK? is calling on all of us to let the people you care about know you're here, to really hear them. In this article, we share the warning signs of poor mental health in the workplace and how employers can proactively promote and support employee wellbeing. Stop, look, and listen: what are the warning signs to look out for? We spend much of our lives at work, and employers may be in one of the best positions to recognise the early warning signs of poor mental health. Such signs vary from person to person, but may include: Increased absenteeism or tardiness. Looking tired and seeming stressed. Having trouble concentrating, making decisions, and managing multiple tasks. Being unusually emotional and getting frustrated with people. Avoiding social activities. Outbursts and mood swings. Increased isolation including sitting alone at lunchtime. Unable to accept negative......
By Amanda Curatore & Nick Tindley With the introduction of the Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill and Respect@Work Bill in late 2022, you’d think any extensive industrial relations reform would be off the table – but think again – on 4 September 2023, the Federal Government tabled the Fair Work Amendment (Closing loopholes) Bill 2023 (Bill) into Parliament. And, in comparison to the recent law changes mentioned above, this proposed Bill is much larger and is set to have significant and substantial impacts on all workplaces across the country. In this article, we highlight the key proposed changes arising from the Bill and explain them in easy-to-understand language. Casual employment Change to casual definition The Bill proposes to replace the existing definition of ‘casual employee’ with a new definition that aligns with the approach adopted in the Full Federal Court decisions in Skene and Rossato. While the current legislation, and the High Court decision in Rossato, provide that it’s the contract that determines the nature of the employment, the proposed amendments will require consideration of other matters. The proposed definition focuses on......