Our employment lawyers have extensive experience in assisting Employers relating to their employment law needs in the following areas:

  • Drafting Employment Contracts
  • Drafting remuneration and bonus policies
  • Redundancy, Restructuring & Terminations
  • Enforcing Restraint of Trade clauses
  • Advising about issues arise from the sale of a business
  • Advice relating to such claims such as relating to unfair dismissal, protection provision claims and underpayment claims
  • Representation at Fair Work Australia
  • Workplace Investigations

Employment Contracts

What does a good Employment Contract include?

Each industry, each business and each role within a business is different. The employment contract needs to be drafted to match the nature and intricacies of the role.

An employment contact will go much further than merely being remuneration and annual leave. You will generally want to deal with things such as confidential information, restraint of trade, hours of work and probation in particular detail.

Getting this right is clarity for both the employee and the employer and this makes it less likely that it be confusion later on or, should the employee’s employment need to be terminated one reason or another, the basis of such will be clearly delineated.

We spend the time to tailor your employment agreements to suit your business to ensure that your business is adequately protected.

Disputes with Employees

Restraint of Trade (Non-compete) and Confidential Information

It is a very serious matter when an employee breaches a restraint of trade (also known as a noncompete) clause.

This issue arises when an employee has entered into specific obligation employment contract not to do such things as start their own business in opposition to their employer, or poach staff from that employer or, in some circumstances, even work for a competitor for a period of time.

A well drafted restraint of trade clause and employment contract will have a good chance of being enforceable. There is a very large body of case law where the courts have considered the enforceability of a restraint of trade clause. Every case is different.

We can assist you with providing advice about drafting restraint of trade clauses or represent you in circumstances where the employee has sought to take your client database or poach your employees otherwise start a business when they had promised not to do so.

We are experienced in bringing injunction applications against rogue employees to stop the offending behaviour by restraining them from working from an employer or operating their own business, for example with a previous employer’s database (being confidential information). Employers can be successful in these types of claims even in the absence of an employment agreement so if you are in circumstances where you don’t even have an employment agreement in place, so it is still worth seeking our advice because there may be other common law options open to you to rely upon in pursuing the rogue employee.

Employee Disputes

What if I suspect that the employee breached their employment contract while still employed?

You may consider the employee needs to be given a warning or even dismissed. Common situations include workplace bullying, inappropriate conduct, underperformance or lack of punctuality. Sometimes these things to be grounds of summary (immediate) dismissal. Other times, that is to be a process that is managed carefully.

It is best to get advice about these things before you go down the track of these disciplinary measures is not carried out correctly, this may lead to unfair dismissal or similar type of claim.

What I suspect employee has left the business and I suspect that there has been there has been a breach of their obligations to us as their former employer?

Usually, the earlier you act the better. Usually this will involve a breach of the non-compete clause (including perhaps the theft of clients or setting up a competing business) or even defamatory remarks in the marketplace, which can in be very damaging to existing commercial relationships.

We thus strongly recommend that you seek legal advice immediately.

Please feel free to contact our employment lawyers to discuss your situation by calling us on 1300 907 335 or by completing the enquiry form on this page.

What do I do if we have been served with papers from Fair Work Australia?

See legal advice immediately. There are time frames must be complied with. As an employer, to not be represented at Fair Work exposes you unnecessarily, let alone the time and bother that it can cause. We work with our employer clients to pursue their rights and obtain the best result possible. Having competent legal representation will ensure that you don’t overpay to resolve a dispute.

We can provide fast advice and capable representation in dealing with claims that in relation to:

  • Unfair dismissal
  • General protections claims
  • Bullying claims
  • Sexual Harassment Claims
  • Constructive Dismissal Claims
  • Pay Disputes including underpayment, payment of bonuses and redundancy entitlements

If you have been served with documents, you need to act quickly. We can sort and assimilate substantial factual material quickly that results in competent responses to allegations from employee allegations.

We work to resolve workplace disputes quickly and can provide you with advice quickly if you need to consider terminating an employee or are restructuring.

What is Summary Dismissal?

Summary Dismissal is immediate termination of employment without notice or warning, for a serious breach of the employment agreement (whether there is a written contract or not). This is for rare and more extreme cases and employers should ensure if you wish to terminate an employee due to a serious misconduct that it falls within the legal definition. Examples might include theft, intoxication, violence and serious breaches of occupational health and safety procedures. Urgent legal advice should always be obtained before you terminate an employee for serious misconduct.

We Are Here to Help

Please contact us if you have questions in relation to the issues above or any other employment matter. We can be contacted on 1300 907 335 or by completing the contact form on this page.

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