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Expertise

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 since 2013.

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.

Experience

Charles and his team provide all the legal services required by Scentre 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 RMIT Training, carsales, Ansell, PZ Cussons, Clemenger, Bluescope and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Charles also represents a range of employers in the industry superannuation sector including MTAA Super, ISPT, LUCRF, Industry Superannuation Australia, IFM, Maritime Super, Industry Fund Services and Cbus Property.

Publications

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.

27 August 2018 - Knowledge

Employee's resignation not 'forced'

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The Fair Work Commission cannot entertain an unfair dismissal claim unless the termination of employment was at the employer’s initiative. In a recent decision, an employee was unsuccessful in arguing he was forced to resign due to the conduct engaged in by his employer in by initiating an investigation into his misconduct.

02 July 2018 - Knowledge

Holding Redlich's expert guide to the new financial year 2018/2019

#Competition & Consumer Law, #Corporate & Commercial Law, #Immigration Law, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Property & Real Estate, #Transport, Shipping & Logistics, #Workplace Relations & Safety, #Construction & Infrastructure

The new financial year has brought some important changes. Our experts outline what you need to know...

22 May 2018 - Knowledge

Key changes to Victorian long service leave entitlements announced

#Workplace Relations & Safety

On 8 May 2018, the Victorian Parliament repealed the Long Service Leave Act 1992 (Vic) (Current Act) and passed the Long Service Act 2018 (Vic) (New Act). The New Act introduces key changes to Victorian employees’ long service leave entitlements including long-awaited reforms which are more favourable for parents.

30 April 2018 - Knowledge

Expressing leave entitlements in terms of hours may contravene the Fair Work Act

#Workplace Relations & Safety

If you express a personal / carer’s leave entitlement in an enterprise agreement in terms of 76 or 80 hours you will be undercutting the National Employment Standards in the case of 12 hour shift workers.

12 February 2018 - Knowledge

Sloppy record-keeping compounds the legal exposure in underpayment cases

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Employers who fail to comply with statutory requirements to keep time and wages records will be slapped with higher penalties if prosecuted for underpayment. This is just one of many reasons why every employer should conduct regular audits of its human resources arrangements to ensure legal compliance.