Industrial Relations

Harmers Workplace Lawyers has some of the most experienced industrial relations practitioners in the country, working at the forefront of industrial relations law in Australia, both nationally and at a state level.

We advise and represent clients in relation to all aspects of industrial relations and labour law including:

  • negotiation, drafting and implementation of collective agreements;
  • consultation obligations in relation to workplace change, including corporate restructures and the implementation of workplace policies and procedures;
  • management of award modernisation processes;
  • effective strategies to minimise the risk of workplace disputes and industrial action, as well as advising on actual industrial disputation (including strikes, lockouts, pickets and other forms of industrial action) across a wide range of industries; and
  • obligations towards employee representatives in relation to freedom of association, right of entry laws, bargaining and disputes.

We have extensive experience in working with clients to manage and resolve workplace disputes and industrial action efficiently and with minimal business disruption. We also represent clients in litigation concerning all industrial relations matters including protected action ballots, demarcation disputes and industrial action in federal and state courts and tribunals, including the Fair Work Commission.

Our experience

  • Acting for Brickworks and the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia in respect of the 4 yearly modern award review to vary the Concrete Products Award 2010, including a leading challenge to penalty rates, industry allowance and starting times.
  • Acting for the peak Australian alpine employer body, ASAA, in the creation of one of Australia’s most progressive and flexible modern awards – the Alpine Resorts Award, which operates to allow both employers and employees to benefit from and enjoy the unique nature of the snow sports industry. The firm is also currently involved in the Fair Work Commission’s first four yearly review of modern awards, defending the terms and conditions of employment within the snow sports industry (that it has extensively negotiated with the AWU for over a decade).
  • Advising corporate clients in relation to demarcation disputes and the rationalisation of unions at particular workplaces, for example, assisting a global FMCG company to convert a traditional six union site with significant demarcation problems into a single union practice site with total flexibility
  • Providing advice and representation for the resolution of strikes and other forms of industrial action in matters before Federal and State industrial tribunals and Courts.