Industrial Relations FAQs

Can I make an industrial relations claim?
If you have been wrongfully dismissed, suffered some form of harassment at work or been underpaid you may be entitled to claim.  We can advise you in detail about your right to claim and your prospects of success.
 
Different rules can apply in other states and overseas – we can advise you about that.
 
 
How do I make an industrial relations claim?
An application may need to be made to Fair Work Australia, or in some cases to the Industrial Relations Commission or a court.
Strict time limits apply and you will need to get expert advice about the time limits that apply to you.
 

 

What can I claim in an industrial relations claim?
It is impossible even to estimate the amount of damages you might recover, or how your complaint might be resolved, without knowing a lot more about you and your situation.
 

 

Do I need a lawyer to make an industrial relations claim?
No, you can handle the claim yourself.
 
Employers have extensive experience in defending claims and will often instruct lawyers to act on their behalf.  Your employer cannot provide you with independent advice.  You may find yourself at a disadvantage if you do not have legal representation.
 
 
Will the employer pay my legal costs if I make an industrial relations claim?
That depends on the type and outcome of your claim. Even if the employer is required to pay something towards your costs, it will not cover your entire costs.  The difference will be paid from your settlement or judgment monies.  
 
We will discuss this with you in detail when we give you our initial Costs Agreement and before you instruct us to act on your behalf.
 

 

How long will an industrial relations claim take?
This is impossible to say without knowing a lot more about you and your claim.  Some relevant factors include:
  • the nature of your complaint.
  • whether medical or other expert evidence might be required.
  • whether the employer disputes liability for your claim.
Will I need to go to court for an industrial relations claim?
Employment disputes are very rarely decided by a judge.  Even if proceedings are issued in court, claims frequently settle before reaching trial.
 

 

How am I charged and how much do I have to pay to make an industrial relations claim?
If we think you have reasonable prospects of success, we may agree to act on a speculative basis.  That means we will not charge for our professional fees unless and until your claim is successfully finalised.
 
If we are unable to act on a speculative basis, we will charge for our professional fees on an hourly rate.
 
We do require payment of any costs or outlays (eg. medico-legal reports from a specialist) incurred on your behalf, even if your claim is not successful.  We will not incur significant outlays without first discussing it with you.  An estimate of outlays will be provided in our Costs Agreement. 
 
Our costs will be reasonable – we will discuss them with you in detail before you instruct us to act on your behalf and will enter into a Costs Agreement with you.  We strongly recommend you seek independent legal advice about the Costs Agreement before you sign it.