Reading time: 5 minutes

Work can take up a big part of our lives whether you run your own business or work for someone else. So, if you face problems at work, having the right person advising you will have a profound impact on your life. An employment lawyer is well-suited to help you deal with the issues at work, but choosing the right one can be difficult. This article will explore five considerations you should look for when choosing an employment lawyer.

1. Is My Employment Lawyer Experienced?

It is important to choose an employment lawyer that has experience with the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (‘Fair Work Act’) and the Fair Work Commission. They should be well versed in important case law, as well as recent decisions that may impact their advice.

For example, let’s say you are an employee who is looking for advice on whether you can cash out your annual leave. The Fair Work Act allows for cashing out of annual leave based on terms in the applicable award, enterprise agreement or agreement between the employee and employer. In 2015, the Fair Work Commission added clauses to most awards to set out additional conditions that the employer and employee have to meet when annual leave is cashed out. If your employment lawyer was not aware of both the Fair Work Act and this decision, their advice to you may be incorrect.

2. Can My Employment Lawyer Cater to My Specific Needs?

The needs of employers and employees are very different so it is important to choose an employment lawyer who understands this difference and can advise their client accordingly.

For example, consider yourself an employer and the situation arises where one of your employees would like to start their own business that directly competes against you. If your employee were seeking advice on this situation, they would need an employment lawyer who could advise on the impact of the restraint of trade clause in their Employment Agreement. They would need to know whether it is reasonable and whether it can restrain them from starting and operating their new business.

The advice to you as an employer would be very different because you would need an employment lawyer who could advise on your options to enforce the restraint of trade clause. You would also require strategies to protect your intellectual property and confidential information.

3. Is My Employment Lawyer Empathetic?

Emotions usually run high when employees and employers disagree, so it is important to find an employment lawyer who can empathise with this and who will work to resolve the dispute amicably.

For example, let’s say that co-workers are bullying you at work and you are seeking advice on what recourse you can take. In this situation, your employment lawyer should consider your emotions before advising on the best option for you. One option may be to apply to the Fair Work Commission to help stop the bullying. However, this may mean that the Commission will bring you and your employer together to resolve the dispute. If you feel threatened or intimidated by your employer, you should feel comfortable communicating this first to your employment lawyer.

4. Does My Employment Lawyer Offer Complimentary Initial Consultations?

It is important to choose an employment lawyer who offers complimentary initial consultations with them or a member of their team to work out the best way to assist you. These consultations can also be helpful to determine whether you are eligible for the recourse you would like to take.

For example, consider the situation where your employer has terminated you, and you would like to make a claim for unfair dismissal. Consider also that it has been one month since the date your termination became effective, and you make $200,000 per year. Unfortunately, you are ineligible to make a claim for unfair dismissal because you do not meet the legal criteria. If this information is discovered in an initial consultation before you pay for an employment lawyer to draft an application to the Fair Work Commission, this will save you time and money.

5. Does My Employment Lawyer Offer Fixed Fees?

It is important to choose an employment lawyer who offers fixed fees and sets out their scope of work clearly, so you know exactly what you will receive when working with them.

For instance, let’s say you are starting a new business and you would like to pay all of your employees on a commission-only basis. Starting a business is an important time to be cost conscious, and fixed-fees can help you budget. Having a set scope of work at an agreed price also means that you know that you will receive the advice you asked for to ensure you protect your new business.

***

It is important to find an employment lawyer with the traits set out above whether you are an employer or employee. Luckily, you are in the right place! Get in touch with our employment lawyers by sending us a message or calling 1300 544 755. We work on a fixed-fee basis and have serviced thousands of happy clients around Australia.

Webinars

How to Recover Unpaid Invoices

Thursday 13 May | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
What do you do if your customers don't pay your invoices? Attend this webinar to learn about how to recover unpaid invoices.
Register Now

Trade Marks 101

Thursday 17 June | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Your trade mark is one of the most valuable assets of your business. It is therefore crucial to understand how to protect your trade mark, avoid disputes, and prevent competitors from infringing on your rights.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. From just $119 per week, get all your contracts sorted, trade marks registered and questions answered by experienced business lawyers.

Learn more about LVConnect

Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation – Finalist – Australasian Law Awards 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice – Winner – Australasian Lawyer 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer