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Expertise

Michael is a partner in our Sydney office and practices in all areas of workplace relations with a special focus on work health and safety. Michael acts for a diverse range of clients in construction and manufacturing, agribusiness, media, education, professional services, transport and government.

Michael’s expertise includes:

  • appearing in industrial disputes, litigated claims and coronial hearings
  • work health and safety including structuring WHS management systems, agreements, policies and procedures
  • conducting internal workplace investigations and dealing with investigations by regulatory agencies including SafeWork, Department of Immigration, Fair Work Ombudsman and ABCC
  • management of injured workers including workers compensation, personal injury and return to work issues
  • preparing all forms of employment contracts, including executive contracts, protection of confidential information and restraints of trade
  • the development of collective agreements and interpretation of the Fair Work Act 2009 and industrial instruments
  • managing employment issues in a transfer of business and company restructuring including advice in relation to outsourcing, organisational change and redundancy.

Michael is also listed in the Best Lawyers in Australia 2020 and 2021 editions for the area of Occupational Health and Safety Law.

Experience

Michael has extensive litigation experience in employment disputes and defending work health and safety prosecutions. Before joining Holding Redlich, Michael’s practice included acting on behalf of SafeWork NSW in prosecuting breaches of the safety legislation. Michael is a regular presenter of seminars and training on workplace issues, in particular on work health and safety.

Publications

09 September 2020 - Knowledge

Sacked employee reinstated after sending racist messages to colleagues by mistake

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Does an apology make things right? The Fair Work Commission has ordered an employer to reinstate an employee who was dismissed after sending racist WhatsApp messages to a work group chat.

26 August 2020 - Knowledge

Dismissing a long-term employee for a safety breach: Key considerations for employers

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has upheld the dismissal of an employee with 30 years’ service for breaching safety rules.

18 August 2020 - Knowledge

Damages awarded for discrimination claims does not prevent a worker from seeking workers compensation for the same injury

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The NSW Court of Appeal recently held that a worker can claim both compensation for disability discrimination and workers compensation for the same injury.

28 July 2020 - Knowledge

Federal Court rules workers deemed ‘integral’ to a company are not contractors

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The Full Bench of the Federal Court has upheld a claim by two truck drivers, engaged under independent contractor agreements, to receive unpaid employee entitlements after working exclusively for a company for almost 40 years.

21 July 2020 - Knowledge

Reducing full-time hours while increasing part-time hours in a JobKeeper enabling stand down direction deemed “unreasonable”

#Workplace Relations & Safety

A JobKeeper enabling stand down direction that has a disproportionate and unfair impact on one category of employee over another is deemed unfair, unreasonable, and therefore, unenforceable by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission.

01 July 2020 - Knowledge

National minimum wage increases today

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The national minimum wage and modern award minimum wages will increase by 1.75 per cent from today with staggered operative dates across the financial year.

24 June 2020 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin

#Government

The allegations against former High Court judge Dyson Heydon for sexual harassment is a stark reminder that such behaviour can occur in any workplace. We pinpoint five key lessons for all.

16 June 2020 - Knowledge

Key changes to NSW health and safety laws

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Increased penalties and broader powers for inspectors are just some of the new WHS laws in NSW following the assent of the Work Health and Safety Amendment (Review) Bill 2020.

03 June 2020 - Knowledge

Stood-down employees are not entitled to paid sick leave, Federal Court confirms

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

Providing much needed clarification during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Court has confirmed stood down employees have no entitlement to paid personal leave under the Fair Work Act.

26 May 2020 - Knowledge

Should you do a welfare check before your workers return to the office?

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

The mental health of your workers will likely have been affected in various ways as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given this situation, what steps should you take to ensure a safe return to the office?

13 May 2020 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin

#Government

In this edition, we examine a recent Tribunal decision that upheld a claim for legal professional privilege by a Council over a workplace investigation, and rejected an access application under the GIPA Act.

02 April 2020 - Knowledge

Fair Work Commission seeks to vary modern awards

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

On 1 April 2020, the Fair Work Commission (Commission) announced its proposal to vary certain modern awards by inserting a new “Schedule X” containing additional measures to assist employers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

31 March 2020 - Knowledge

What do reckless conduct WHS laws have to do with COVID-19?

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic presents a multitude of challenges for businesses of all shapes and sizes, not least of which is their primary responsibility and concern to protect the health and welfare of their workforce.

31 March 2020 - Knowledge

Important changes to modern awards and legislation in response to COVID-19 pandemic

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to businesses and its employees, the Fair Work Commission recently granted a number of temporary variations to some key modern awards to preserve the ongoing viability of businesses and jobs. Plus, a look at

17 March 2020 - Knowledge

Working from home safely during a pandemic

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #COVID-19

As Australia commences wide-scale closures of schools and businesses, many organisations face significant challenges in introducing widespread working-from-home arrangements.

26 February 2020 - Knowledge

Western Australia poised to debate new safety laws

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The Western Australian parliament is debating the proposed new Work Health & Safety Bill 2019, which is intended to make the State’s work health and safety laws more consistent with the rest of Australia.

04 February 2020 - Knowledge

Employer’s defence of genuine redundancy for terminated scaffolder falls apart

#Workplace Relations & Safety

A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission has highlighted the importance of ensuring the steps taken in a dismissal for redundancy meet the genuine redundancy provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), failing which the termination may be found to be unfair.

29 January 2020 - Knowledge

Does your employee have transferable skills? What you need to consider during a dismissal

#Workplace Relations & Safety

We look at a recent case that has highlighted the need for employers to consider whether an employee’s skill set is transferable when determining disciplinary action.