Artboard 1Icon/UI/CalendarIcons/Ionic/Social/social-pinterestIcon/UI/Video-outline

Edmund Burke

LLB (Politics)

Partner - Brisbane

Areas of Expertise

Workplace Relations & Safety


Edmund Burke is a workplace lawyer with extensive experience in employee misconduct investigations, professional misconduct defence, bullying claims, discrimination, workplace and sexual harassment, managing employee performance management, discipline and dismissal. Edmund also practises in workplace health and safety, having defended companies, individuals and local councils in proceedings against non-compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act and safety incidents resulting in injuries to employees.

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.


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. 


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


12 October 2022 - Knowledge

Managing psychosocial hazards at work: Employer’s guide to the risks you can’t see

#Workplace Relations & Safety

SafeWork Australia has prompted significant reform following the publication of a new model code of practice and amendments to the model work health and safety regulations that are now in force in New South Wales. We analyse what these changes are and what employers need to do to comply.

29 March 2022 - Knowledge

Dismissal of unvaccinated employee supported by Fair Work Commission due to vaccination being a ‘regulatory requirement’

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The Fair Work Commission has reassured employers that terminating unvaccinated employees is not unfair when vaccination is an inherent requirement of the role.

09 March 2022 - Knowledge

Employer FAQs: Managing your workforce during a flood

#Workplace Relations & Safety

As ‘rain bombs’ continue to devastate the east coast of Australia, we answer some common questions for flood-affected businesses managing a workforce during a natural disaster.

02 March 2022 - Knowledge

A ‘sound, defensible and well-founded’ approach to dismissing unvaccinated employees

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

A recent Fair Work Commission decision has confirmed that employers covered by vaccination mandates will not be penalised for unfair dismissal if they follow a fair termination process.

08 September 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government, #Government, #Workplace Relations & Safety

The Crime and Corruption Commission has released its biennial Corruption Audit Plan for 2021 to 2023, focusing on the misuse of public resources, recruitment and the complaint management process.

01 September 2021 - Knowledge

Don’t mask don’t tell: What if an employee refuses to wear a mask?

#Workplace Relations & Safety

We unmask the rights of employees regarding face masks, and set out what employers can do when their employees refuse to wear a mask.

31 August 2021 - Knowledge

Queensland Government Bulletin

#Government, #Local Government, #Workplace Relations & Safety

The Crime and Corruption Commission has released its biennial Corruption Audit Plan for 2021 to 2023, focusing on the misuse of public resources, recruitment and the complaint management process.

06 July 2021 - Knowledge

Commission rules on ‘roo-pudiation’

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The Fair Work Commission has ruled that an employer has repudiated an employee’s contract after they withdrew his use of the company car for personal reasons following an accidental collision with a kangaroo.