Employment Law & Industrial Relations 

The Employment Law & Industrial Relations team advises and represents the NSW Government Sector in all matters concerning employment law and industrial relations.  The team also advises and represents agencies in Work, Health & Safety prosecutions and assists with dispute resolution, whether by informal discussion, conciliation or mediation.

What we can do for you

  • Provide expert advice on the Government Sector Employment Act 2013, the Government Sector Employment (General) Rules 2014 and the Government Sector Employment Regulation 2014.
  • Advise and act in industrial disputes including disputes listed with short notice and on an urgent basis.
  • Advise and act in all stages of award proceedings.
  • Act in unfair dismissal and unfair contract proceedings.
  • Act in disciplinary appeals.
  • Advise on award interpretation.
  • Act in major industrial cases in both federal and state jurisdictions. 
  • Advise on WH&S compliance as well as act in  prosecutions.
  • Advise on and draft contracts of employment.
  • Advise on and act in matters concerning complaints of discrimination in employment.
  • Advise on employee misconduct, investigations and disciplinary action (including in professional disciplinary matters involving health professionals).
  • Advise on recovery of salary overpayments.
  • Advise on the application of the Fair Work Act 2009 to the NSW Government Sector.
  • Act and advise in licensing matters.
  • Act in and advise on working with children issues.

Significant matters

2017/00002851 – Equal Remuneration Case – Variation of the Crown Employees (School Administrative and Support Staff) Award.

This was a major industrial case brought by the Public Service Association  (PSA) in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), seeking a variation to the Crown Employees (School Administrative and Support Staff) Award  pursuant to the Equal Remuneration Principle. The PSA sought a substantial increase in hourly rates on the basis that the majority of employees covered by the award are female.  The parties conciliated an agreed position and, by consent, made application for a new award to reflect the agreement. The decision of the Full Bench of the IRC has been reserved.

Addison v Commissioner of Police, NSW Police Force [2019] NSWCATAD 99

A person's capacity to intimidate members of the community and other outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) members and the criminal conduct of other OMCG members are significant considerations when determining whether that person is not fit, in the public interest, to have possession of a firearm under s. 73(1) of the Firearms Act 1996.

RMS v Leeman [2018] FWCFB 5772

In this matter the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission upheld a finding that if a NSW statutory corporation is relevantly a "trading corporation" for the purposes of s. 51(xx) of the Constitution (as RMS was found to be) that is, a constitutional corporation, then the Fair Work Commission has jurisdiction to make stop-bullying orders under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Davie v Industrial Relations Secretary (Department of Justice, Corrective Services NSW) (No. 2) [2019] NSWIRComm 1056

Public Service employers do not have unfettered power to dismiss senior executives and the privative provision in s. 58(7) of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 does not extend to exclude the Commission's jurisdiction to hear claims under s. 213 of the Industrial Relations Act 1996.