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Charles Power

LLB, BEc (Hons)

Partner - Melbourne

Areas of Expertise

Workplace Relations & Safety


Charles draws on over 20 years of skills, expertise and experience in workplace relations and safety law. In addition to legal practice, Charles has served as an associate to a senior deputy president of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. In 1995 and 1996 Charles served as a Canberra-based adviser to a federal government minister.

Charles was accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria in 2006 as a workplace relations specialist. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Employment Law Practical Handbook, with over 4,000 subscribers nationally.

Charles has been recognised by Best Lawyers as a leading practitioner in Labour and Employment Law and Employee Benefits Law since 2013. In 2021 Best Lawyers awarded Charles Lawyer of the Year in the Employee Benefits field. Charles is also recognised in the 2020 edition of Doyle's Guide as a leading lawyer in Employment (Employer Representation) for Victoria.

Charles gives legal advice and representation to organisations and individuals in all areas of the discipline, including: 

  • minimising legal risks associated with recruitment, including advice and drafting documents to address legal exposure to trade practices, discrimination and privacy laws, in advertising for, and interviewing and selecting candidates 
  • negotiating, drafting, implementing and enforcing employment contracts, human resources policies and procedures and enterprise agreements 
  • protecting intellectual property, confidential information and goodwill through drafting and implementing appropriate contractual provisions, and enforcing them where necessary 
  • managing and regulating employee behaviours in a legally effective manner through development and implementation of appropriate human resources policies, procedures and guidelines; disciplinary and performance management actions 
  • minimising legal exposure in workplace change, including compliance with consultation and dispute resolution requirements, redundancy, retrenchment and redeployment, and transfer of business and outsourcing/insourcing 
  • dealing with requirements of law and best practice in managing the interaction between work on the one hand and family and disability on the other 
  • wrongful and unfair dismissal, general protections, sexual harassment and discrimination complaints 
  • compliance with industrial and workplace health and safety laws and represents them in investigations and prosecutions undertaken by the regulators 
  • enterprise bargaining, good faith requirements, capacity for tribunal intervention, protected (and unprotected) industrial action, making and implementing agreements.


Charles and his team provide all the legal services required by Scentre Group in the area of workplace relations and safety. This includes representation of the company in OHS matters and negotiation of enterprise agreements.

In addition, Charles and his team deliver all the employment law services for many notable Australian organisations including Citywide, carsales, Ansell, PZ Cussons, Clemenger and Legg Mason.

Charles also represents a range of employers in the industry superannuation sector including ISPT, LUCRF, Industry Fund Services and Cbus Property.


Member of Australian Human Resources Institute


Advisory Board - Centre for Employment & Labour Relations Law, University of Melbourne
Chair, Workplace Relations Specialisation Committee, Law Institute of Victoria
Board member, Dental Health Services Victoria
Former Board member, Early Learning Association Australia 


20 October 2020 - Knowledge

Federal Court confirms broad reach of superannuation guarantees to personal service contractors

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #Superannuation, Funds Management & Financial Services

A Full Federal Court decision has confirmed that employers may be required to make superannuation contributions, even if an independent contractor is not an employee under common law.

06 October 2020 - Knowledge

Flexibility measures extended in line with JobKeeper changes

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

The Fair work Commission has extended the life of award flexibility provisions designed to assist employers to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and has introduced laws to make parental leave more flexible.

29 September 2020 - Knowledge

Fair Work Commission confirms it has no power to reduce modern award derived redundancy entitlements

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses has seen the Fair Work Commission determine a number of applications to vary redundancy pay and recent decisions have confirmed its limited powers to reduce payouts.

16 September 2020 - Knowledge

Alfresco dining in Victoria: Enjoying the sun without litigation

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Local Government, #COVID-19

The new Victorian Government Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package creates new opportunities for local government and hospitality sector to revitalise the economy. In embracing this new initiative, our hosts need to think about potential legal exposure.

26 August 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

Two significant Federal Court rulings have found that so-called casuals are entitled to paid leave. We examine this and other legal developments affecting casual employment.

19 August 2020 - Knowledge

High Court clarifies the meaning of a ‘day’ for personal/carer’s leave entitlement

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The High Court of Australia has allowed an appeal from a Full Federal Court judgment concerning how the entitlement to paid personal/carer's leave is calculated under the Fair Work Act 2009.

18 August 2020 - Knowledge

Victoria’s COVID-19 Workplace Directions

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

The Victorian Government has imposed new obligations on all workplaces across Victoria, including enhanced health and safety requirements, a compliant COVIDSafe Plan and set procedures for reporting suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.

04 August 2020 - Knowledge

Notification requirements for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases in the workplace

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

As Victorian cases of COVID-19 continue to increase, the Victorian Government has responded by imposing greater responsibility on employers to notify WorkSafe of confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst their employees.

28 April 2020 - Knowledge

COVIDSafe app – can I direct my workers to download the app to their mobile devices?

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

The Federal Government has released its COVIDSafe app which aims to make it quicker to locate individuals who have been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. It is a voluntary app that Australians are being encouraged to download to slow the spread of the virus. 

24 February 2020 - Knowledge

When discretionary bonuses become entitlements

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Depending on the words of a bonus clause in an employment contract, an employee may be entitled to an incentive payment or bonus as a contractual entitlement.

21 October 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

19 August 2019 - Knowledge

To tweet or not to tweet: The High Court’s ruling on employee social media use

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Serving as a serious reminder to employees about their use of social media, the High Court has upheld Comcare’s appeal of an Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision which turned on whether an employee’s anonymous tweets criticising her employer were a lawful reason for dismissal.

12 August 2019 - Knowledge

Warning – if you don’t give one, you’ve got trouble ahead

#Workplace Relations & Safety

If you haven’t told an underperforming employee their job is on the line before you move to dismiss them, then you are booking yourself in for a potential trip to the Fair Work Commission.

09 August 2019 - Knowledge

Biometric scanning in the workplace: Can employees refuse consent?

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #Local Government

Technology enabling facial, fingerprint and iris scans offers employers an efficient and accurate means to secure their workplaces, monitor and record their employees’ time and attendance.

05 August 2019 - Knowledge

Fair Work Act general protections for a corporate whistleblower?

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The general protections scheme under the Fair Work Act 2009 protects employees from adverse action taken against them by their employer because they have or exercise a workplace right. This area was canvassed recently by the court in the context of corporate whistleblowing.

16 April 2019 - Knowledge

Industrial manslaughter to become a criminal offence in Victoria

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Victoria is the latest state to make industrial manslaughter a criminal office, with employers who are found to be negligent to face a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment. Fines of up to $16 million will apply for corporate offenders.