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Stephen Trew

Managing Partner - Sydney

Areas of Expertise

Workplace Relations & Safety


Stephen has significant experience in all aspects of workplace relations and safety. He provides a wide range of strategic advice and protects clients' interests in all applicable Courts and Tribunals.


Stephen's experience includes:

  • advising on all termination of employment issues and procedures, including in respect of senior executives on questions concerning options, bonus entitlements, directorships and shareholdings
  • acting for employers in disputes and dismissal proceedings in Fair Work Commission
  • acting in proceedings to enforce restraint of trade and confidentiality obligations as well as defending bonus and other breach of employment contract claims
  • advising and acting for employers in respect of General Protections proceedings as well as complaints of unlawful termination and unlawful discrimination
  • working with parties prior to and following the sale of businesses to address relevant employment issues, including those that arise where there is a transfer of business
  • providing strategic advice on governance obligations in the workplace and safety content, including for Boards and senior management
  • assisting and acting in investigations and prosecutions involving WorkSafe, Comcare and the Fair Work Ombudsman
  • drafting employment contracts of all types, drafting specialised workplace policies and advising on the implementation of effective standardised engagement and induction processes
  • providing strategic advice and assistance on managing the variety of issues arising throughout the life cycle of employment. 

Stephen Trew has been named for a number of years in various guides. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in Australia guide as a leading lawyer for Labour and Employment Law since 2017. Stephen is also listed in the latest Who’s Who Legal: Australia directory for Labour, Employment & Benefits.


27 March 2024 - Knowledge

Enforcing restraints of trade: Three month delay dooms employer's case

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Time is of the essence for employers seeking to enforce restraint of trade provisions against former employees with a three-month delay sufficient to thwart an employer’s application for interlocutory relief.

01 February 2024 - Knowledge

Understanding employment contracts: The importance of an effective set-off clause (Part 3)

#Workplace Relations & Safety

We continue our series by examining ‘set-off’ clauses within employment contracts and reviewing court authority on the risks of not including a set-off clause in the employment contracts of employees covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement.

29 November 2023 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin: Managing psychosocial hazards in the workplace

#Government, #Workplace Relations & Safety

In this article, we provide a snapshot of the Code and Regulations for managing the risk of psychosocial hazards in the workplace and discuss the steps an employer or PCBU can take to meet their obligations.

22 November 2023 - Knowledge

The second Secure Jobs flexible working dispute: Is there an ability to require an employee to return to the office? (Part 2)

#Workplace Relations & Safety

In the second instalment of our 2 part series, the Fair Work Commission has considered the Secure Jobs flexible working request dispute provisions for a second time and has addressed the types of reasonable business grounds which may support a requirement to return to the office.

22 November 2023 - Knowledge

The first Secure Jobs flexible working dispute: What did the FWC have to say about making a valid request? (Part 1)

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The Fair Work Commission has considered the Secure Jobs flexible working request dispute provisions for the first time and has set out the key requirements for a proper flexible working request and has also considered what constitutes a “disability”.

01 November 2023 - Knowledge

Understanding employment contracts: Key considerations for policy clauses (Part 2)

#Workplace Relations & Safety

In this instalment of our series on employment contracts, we delve into policy clauses and the associated risks to your business in respect of these clauses.

08 August 2023 - Knowledge

Understanding employment contracts: Employer’s discretion on bonus payments (Part 1)

#Workplace Relations & Safety

In this new series on employment contracts, we highlight standard clauses which regularly end up the subject of dispute, why these disputes arise and how they can be avoided. In this first instalment, we explore standard clauses and an employer’s right to exercise discretion over bonus payments.

25 July 2023 - Knowledge

Employers beware – zero tolerance policy does not automatically warrant dismissal

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Three recent cases highlight important questions employers should consider before terminating an employee for breaching a zero tolerance alcohol and drug policy to avoid potential claims of unfair dismissal.

13 July 2023 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin: The mandatory criteria in unfair dismissal applications

#Government, #Workplace Relations & Safety

A recent case highlights the need to ensure the FWC addresses all the mandatory criteria in its decision-making process and provides relevant lessons for employers to consider when dealing with dismissals.

05 July 2023 - Knowledge

Enforcing restraints of trade: Tips for employers

#Workplace Relations & Safety

In a recent judgment, the Federal Court highlights a number of practical tips for employers to consider when enforcing restraints of trade and key considerations for an employee ‘exit’ process.

27 April 2023 - Knowledge

Consultation commences on further reforms to Fair Work laws

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The Federal Government has opened a fresh round of consultation on proposed reforms addressing discrimination, wage theft, ‘Same Job, Same Pay’ and ‘employee-like’ forms of work.

05 October 2022 - Knowledge

Further Respect@Work changes introduced to parliament

#Workplace Relations & Safety

The federal government has introduced a new bill to parliament to implement a further seven recommendations from the Respect@Work Report, significantly, a positive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment.

27 July 2022 - Knowledge

How the implied term of ‘good faith’ can apply in employment contracts

#Workplace Relations & Safety

An employer who directed an employee to tell a lie was in breach of the implied term of good faith, although the breach was insufficient to amount to a repudiation.