Rachel specialises in providing advice in relation to employee management and entitlements. Rachel’s expertise covers industrial relations, employee entitlements and award coverage, with particular specialty in the areas of workers’ health legislation, discrimination, managing discipline and dismissal, assessing workplace health and safety compliance, and transmission of business issues.
Rachel is a Certified Professional with the Australian Human Resources Institute and regularly presents at national and international conferences on employment and human resources law.
Rachel was selected for inclusion as a Notable Practitioner for Employment in the 2015 Chambers and Partners Legal Directory. Rachel has been recognised in Best Lawyers for her Labour and Employment Law expertise since 2014 and in the Asia Pacific Legal 500 (2013/14 & 2014/15) for Corporate/M&A.
Rachel’s key experience includes the following.
Employment and Industrial Relations
- Advice and representation to the Commonwealth Fair Work Ombudsman and IEUA-QNT concerning claims for underpayment of entitlements, failure to provide payment in lieu of notice, failure to comply with requirements in relation to entering into enterprise agreements and lodging unauthorised enterprise agreements, including specifically:
- managing claims for underpayment and adverse action including applications for injunction
- prosecuting Federal Magistrates Court proceedings concerning liability for underpayment and penalty, including preparation of witness material, agreed statement of facts and submissions (Lowe v Georgiou (2008) FMCA1461)
- negotiating with employers in relation to voluntary compliance following Workplace Ombudsman investigation identifying possible breach of obligations:
- advising employer in the electrical industry in response to employee complaint to Workplace Ombudsman, including providing advice on characterisation of employee or contractor and providing procedural advice and advice on evidence during the course of the Workplace Ombudsman investigations
- preparing written advice on prospects of success of compliance proceedings regarding possible breach of procedural aspects of legislation and allegations of duress in preparation of Australian Workplace Agreements
- preparing advice on prospects of success of prosecution for breach of obligation to pay wages and entitlements to employees under the workplace legislation in Human Resources Management industry
- prosecuting and defending unfair and unlawful dismissal claims, adverse action claims,
- drafting, revising and lodging certified agreements and enterprise bargaining agreements.
- Managing more than 100 WorkCover claims each year, representing both workers and employers in the Industrial Magistrates Court and the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission at the review and appeal level
- advising employers on WorkCover claims including obtaining factual evidence, advising on the correct level of compensation payable and rehabilitation obligations
- acting for the Queensland Teachers Union and the Queensland Independent Education Union, representing many members in workers’ compensation claims and before the Medical Assessment Tribunals of WorkCover Queensland.
Work health and safety
- Reviewing and drafting WHS policies including auditing compliance against relevant legislation, and drafting internal policies and procedures
- representing employers and various levels of management in response to work health and safety incidents, including attending investigation interviews, responding to Infringement Notices and representation in court prosecutions.
Equal employment and opportunity
- Representing clients in the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, QCAT and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Professional Bodies Registration Compliance and Disciplinary Issues
- Advising general medical practitioners in relation to issues arising out of insurance coverage, medical board registration and allegations of misconduct
- advising the national physiotherapists board in relation to physiotherapists’ registration, course accreditation including natural justice application
- defending 15-20 teachers annually in accordance with arrangement with Queensland Teachers’ Union and Queensland Independent Education Union in relation to defence of application to cancel teacher registration by the Queensland College of Teachers, through proceedings in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.