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Edmund Burke

Expertise

Edmund is a special counsel in the firm’s Workplace Relations & Safety group. Edmund holds a UK Bachelor of Laws degree from Queens University Belfast and was admitted to as a legal practitioner in Australia in January 2013.

Edmund specialises in providing advice in relation to employee management and entitlements with expertise covering industrial relations, employee entitlements and award coverage, with particular specialty in the areas of workers’ health and safety legislation, professional regulation and disciplinary structures, discrimination, managing discipline and dismissal and assessing workplace health and safety compliance. Edmund also specialises in conducting workplace investigations and has experience in criminal defence and defamation matters. 

Edmund has presented at national and international conferences on employment law and defamation law. He has an eclectic career background having worked as a journalist and writer for national publications in Ireland, the UK and Australia. Before joining private practice Edmund worked as the Director of Communications for Queensland Premier Anna Bligh with managerial responsibility for over one hundred communications professionals, providing advice directly to the Premier and Ministers on a daily basis.

Experience

Edmund’s key legal experience includes the following:

Employment and Industrial Relations

  • full Bench of the Fair Work Commission including formulation of legal argument and drafting of written submissions
  • instructing counsel before the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission
  • experience and expertise in the industrial sections of the Fair Work Act 2009
  • managing claims for underpayment and adverse action including applications for injunction
  • providing advice on characterisation of employee or contractor to both employees and large companies
  • prosecuting and defending unfair and unlawful dismissal claims, adverse action claims.

Workers’ compensation

  • managing numerous WorkCover claims each year, representing both workers and employers in the Industrial Magistrates Court and the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission at the review and appeal level
  • advising employers on WorkCover claims including obtaining factual evidence, advising on the correct level of compensation payable and rehabilitation obligations
  • acting for the Queensland Teachers Union and the Queensland Independent Education Union, representing many members in workers’ compensation claims and before the Medical Assessment Tribunals of WorkCover Queensland
  • managing ‘no win no fee’ common law damages claims under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.

Work health and safety

  • reviewing and drafting WHS policies including auditing compliance against relevant legislation, and drafting internal policies and procedures
  • representing employers and various levels of management in response to work health and safety incidents, including attending investigation interviews, responding to Infringement Notices and representation in court prosecutions.

Equal employment and opportunity

  • representing clients in the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, QCAT and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Professional Bodies Registration Compliance and Disciplinary Issues

  • defending teachers in accordance with arrangement with Queensland Teachers’ Union and Queensland Independent Education Union in relation to defence of application to cancel teacher registration by the Queensland College of Teachers, through proceedings in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Criminal Defence

  • defending teachers against criminal allegations related to their Workplaces in both the District and Supreme Courts. 

Defamation

  • assisting clients with defamation matters including defamatory comments made online on social media sites and independent blog.

Publications

04 June 2018 - Knowledge

You may not be exempt from new labour hire licensing laws

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The genesis of Queensland’s new labour hire licensing laws was the systematic exploitation and mistreatment of workers on Queensland’s farms. But the new laws extend well beyond that industry.

19 September 2018 - Knowledge

What's News in Work Health & Safety? – 19 September 2018

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Australia Post has called on motorists to take more care and be alert to postal workers after 768 posties were injured on Australia’s roads in the past financial year.

18 September 2018 - Knowledge

The importance of proper training for employees

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The ACT Court of Appeal has recently upheld a Supreme Court decision to overturn an award of nearly $100,000 in damages for personal injuries in circumstances where it determined the employer provided adequate training to its employees.