‘Industrial relations’ generally refers to the interactions and relations between employers, employees, industry associations, unions, and state bodies and the issues that arise within them.
The relationship between an organisation and its employees influences its performance, profitability, and reputation.
To effectively manage workplace relations, employers and employees should understand the key laws and regulations governing the workplace and enlist professional advice when necessary to help navigate the many issues that arise during the employment relationship.

For employees

A workplace can have employees who are on employment contracts only or can have an employment contract but are also covered by a modern award or an enterprise agreement.

If you have an award or an enterprise agreement that applies to you, these instruments contain processes and procedures on how to raise and resolve a dispute.

Depending on the provisions, you can also make a claim with the Fair Work Commission or escalate the dispute to the Fair Work Commission for resolution.

For employers

Organisations should understand the types of conduct that may expose them to a potential claim, educate their workers about such issues, and work cohesively to identify and manage potential risks.

Dispute resolution processes should be simple, transparent, and follow logical stages so that issues may be resolved promptly. Processes should be fair and consultative, and if the employment relationship is governed by a contract or specific dispute resolution process in an enterprise agreement or policy, these provisions should be carefully followed.

 

Managing workplace disputes

Workplace disputes cause significant unrest in the workplace and are a constant focus across the employment landscape. They can significantly impact outputs and productivity, resulting in financial loss and jeopardising an organisation’s reputation, both internally and externally. These situations are often highly emotive and stressful for both employees and employers.

Dispute resolution

When dealing with a dispute, it is important for parties to understand their respective legal rights and responsibilities, and to work through practical, commercial solutions that avoid protracted legal proceedings or industrial disputes wherever possible.

The Fair Work Commission has jurisdiction to resolve a range of workplace disputes, such as adverse action bullying and harassment but it also facilitates interest-based bargaining, manages enterprise agreement breaches or disputes and deals with transferrable instruments or terminating enterprise agreements.

Why choose DKL?

At DKL, we have expertise in all areas of industrial and workplace relations to assist employers and employees to proactively manage their workplaces and, address workplace issues, respectively.
Our industrial relations team is led by Sonia Chandra, Partner, who has extensive experience working for and with unions. To name a few, Sonia has experience in representing employers in consultation disputes, bargaining for enterprise agreements (as both employer and at a union) and helping employees take protected industrial action.

Call us on +61 (2) 9233 5669, email hello@dannykinglegal.com, or submit a webform to speak to one of our onboarding team about how we can help.