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Charles Power


Charles draws on over 25 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 as a 5-Star Employment Lawyer by HRD Australia. He has also been recognised by The Best Lawyers in Australia 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 has also been recognised since the 2022 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, Crown Resorts, Cargill, Nitro Software and Luxury Escapes.

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 


26 November 2023 - Knowledge

The legal odyssey of a borderless workforce

#Workplace Relations & Safety

A recent case reminds employers that Australian labour laws may apply to certain internationally based employees whom they previously believed fell outside its purview.

23 November 2023 - Knowledge

Closing Loopholes Bill: Gig economy provisions still subject to change

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Changes to the Closing Loopholes Bill aim to provide fairer conditions to gig economy workers whilst maintaining freedom and flexibility.

23 October 2023 - Knowledge

New guidance for employers on eliminating unlawful behaviour at work

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The Australian Human Rights Commission has released a fact sheet that guides employers on how to meet their duty to eliminate unlawful behaviour under the Sex Discrimination Act. We look at what the guidance suggests.

27 September 2023 - Knowledge

Victoria ramps up regulation to address psychosocial hazards in the workplace

#Workplace Relations & Safety

WorkSafe Victoria has established a specialist Psychosocial Inspectorate to investigate psychosocial hazards. This follows a two-year wait since proposed regulations were canvassed to strengthen employer obligations in managing hazards that impact employees’ psychological health.

15 August 2023 - Knowledge

The unseen struggle: Identifying and responding to the risk of psychiatric injury

#Workplace Relations & Safety

A recent decision in the Victorian Court of Appeal sheds light on the legal principles governing duty of care in the context of a negligence claim for a psychiatric injury at work.

08 August 2023 - Knowledge

Don’t assume: Redeployment options in redundancies

#Workplace Relations & Safety

A recent FWC ruling shows the risks to employers who do not engage in genuine consultation with employees in redundancy situations, particularly in respect of options for redeployment.

01 August 2023 - Knowledge

How to avoid costly underpayments and payroll issues

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Having a payroll system that generates accurate time and wage records is critical. In this article, we look at the consequences of underpaying staff, why it occurs and how employers can avoid these risks.

28 June 2023 - Knowledge

Protecting worker entitlements – changes to superannuation and parental leave rights

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #Immigration Law, #Taxation

Building on the changes introduced by the Secure Jobs, Better Pay laws, further amendments have been made to the Fair Work Act to provide more protections to worker entitlements.

14 June 2023 - Knowledge

‘A crisis of exploitation’: Measures to protect Australia’s migrant workforce

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #Immigration Law

Following revelations of systemic underpayment and mistreatment of the nation’s migrant workforce, the Albanese Government has flagged reforms aimed at protecting visa holders.

10 May 2023 - Knowledge

FWC clarifies link between leave and ordinary hours for overtime payments

#Workplace Relations & Safety

A recent Fair Work Commission decision indicates that an employee’s leave does count towards their ordinary hours of work when assessing their entitlement to overtime pay.

22 March 2023 - Knowledge

Binding without ink: Applicability of the ‘employee vs contractor’ test to unwritten agreements

#Workplace Relations & Safety

We revisit a recent decision where the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission clarified the approach courts should take in determining whether a worker is an employee or contractor in the absence of a written contract.

15 March 2023 - Knowledge

Can employees be required to work additional hours?

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Many employment contracts provide that an employee may be required to work additional hours to perform their job. For years, employers and employees have grappled with the question – when is it reasonable for an employee to work more than their ordinary hours?

07 March 2023 - Knowledge

How will the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Act impact sexual harassment and discrimination in workplace? (Part 4)

#Workplace Relations & Safety

In the fourth part of this series, we examine the changes to the Fair Work Act with respect to sexual harassment and anti-discrimination, and how it impacts employers.

23 January 2023 - Knowledge

Key dates for employers in 2023

#Workplace Relations & Safety

This article provides an overview of the key 2023 commencement dates under recently enacted legislation for employers and human resources and industrial relations practitioners.

07 December 2022 - Knowledge

How will the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Act impact industrial strategy? (Part 3)

#Workplace Relations & Safety

In the third part of this series, we look at the provisions regarding bargaining, enterprise agreements and industrial action, and how changes in the new legislation may impact employer’s industrial relations strategies.

02 December 2022 - Knowledge

How will the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Act impact human resource management? (Part 1)

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 has made substantial amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). In this first article of a multi-part series, we look at the provisions regarding fixed term contracts and flexible work, and the impact of these on recruitment and hiring processes.

30 November 2022 - Knowledge

How will the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Act impact human resource management? (Part 2)

#Workplace Relations & Safety

As part of our examination and guide to the changes flowing from the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Act, we continue our series with this next instalment on the provisions relating to pay secrecy and job advertisements.

01 November 2022 - Knowledge

Federal Government overhauls IR laws with new Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill

#Workplace Relations & Safety

In what is the broadest set of changes to industrial laws in a decade, the Federal Government has introduced the Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill 2022 to amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). This article looks at the proposed legislation and the Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill passed on 27 October 2022.