Doing business in another country or jurisdiction can present unexpected difficulties and challenges. For foreign businesses looking to expand into Australia, complying with Australia’s industrial relations system can be particularly difficult.
However, ensuring that you meet your employment obligations and that you have sound employment practices in place is essential to the success of your Australian operations.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) applies to all companies formed within Australia and all of their employees in Australia, and to the employees of foreign corporations operating in Australia. However, the FW Act can apply to employees working in other countries and in particular:
The FW Act sets out minimum conditions of employment for all employees, called the National Employment Standards (NES). The NES are:
The FW Act also creates instruments called Modern Awards. Modern Awards set out further minimum conditions of employment, such as minimum wages and additional rates of pay for working evenings, weekends, overtime, and public holidays, for employees employed in specific occupations and industries.
For example, the Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2010 provides minimum conditions of employment for clerical, technical, and middle-managerial employees in the banking, finance, and insurance industries.
The FW Act also provides additional rights to employees if they are deemed to have been unfairly dismissed or bullied, or if they have been adversely treated because they exercised one of their “workplace rights” under the NES or a Modern Award.
Failing to understand or comply with your business’ obligations under the FW Act, the NES or Modern Awards can result in employees bringing legal claims against you seeking damages and, in many instances, financial penalties of up to $54,000 against your business and penalties of up to $10,800 against the individual decision-makers within your business.
For directors may be held personally liable for unpaid employee entitlements if they are found to be liable as accessories to the breach.
MDC Legal assists a range of employers to ensure that their businesses comply with the requirements of the Fair Work Act, State legislation and workplace awards and agreements.
Our expertise can assist you to minimise your employment law risk and avoid the costly consequences of non-compliance. Whenever you need employment or workplace law and HR assistance, talk to the team at MDC Legal. Contact MDC Legal on (08) 9288 4000 or contact us online for an obligation-free initial consultation.
Mark and Jessie from MDC Legal were incredibly professional and dealt with my case compassionately. I had a great result and I thank the whole team for everything that they did. Five stars from me!
Most people when they engage the services of a solicitor have to do so because of an unpleasant/ongoing legal matter that needs sound, solid advice and an equitable resolution that won’t resurface in the future. MDC Legal went above and beyond my expectations. Not only did they keep me up to date with regular informed communication, but they also advised me as to the best course of action needed to achieve a favourable outcome for myself with the least amount of stress possible.
Most legal matters do require some investment, but it is money well spent with MDC Legal. Keep in mind that if you want the best, then you have to pay for it- if you pay peanuts, then you will get monkeys!! Joanna Knoth and Noella Silby are a class act. Not only are they a credit to MDC Legal, but they are a positive representation of the legal profession and the community overall. You are in safe, capable hands with MDC Legal and I would not hesitate to recommend them or to utilise their services should a legal matter arise in the future.
MDC legal has assisted myself and my firm in the past with sound legal advice and professional services which has resulted in very positive outcomes, would highly recommend them for any workplace legal issue.
I can confidently recommend their services and have found MDC and their legal team to be professional and considerate. The advice I received was both genuine and realistic resulting in a favourable outcome for myself. Thank you MDC.
What an amazingly talented team I had through my recent trial. Truly a level beyond in professionalism, respect for the law and demonstrated themselves to be a class above the plaintiff in the Supreme court. They went well beyond my expectations, achieving an phenomenal outcome. Superb communication throughout the whole process, with outstanding advice and direction. I could not recommend anyone better than this team for my legal representation. Thank you again so much.
Andrew Beek, Director of WA Bending Pty Ltd.
MDC legal are a highly professional and ethical legal firm. I recently sought their advice and representation in an employment related matter, and engaged the services of Joanna Knoth. MDC Legal and Joanna responded quickly to my initial enquiries and throughout out period of interaction, and were extremely knowledgeable in workplace legislation. Costs were well explained upfront and as my case proceeded so there were no ‘surprises’. They communicated well at all times, explained required processes effectively and ultimately achieved a positive outcome for me as their client. I would highly recommend them as a legal firm and would engage their services again if I had further need for legal advice.
I had a rather difficult legal issue compounded by the fact that a big established law firm was throwing their “family” weight behind the matter.
One letter, with excellent advice and legal clout, from MDC Legal was all it took for this matter to be very favorably resolved.
Four years down the line and this matter has never been an issue again.
Well done MDC Legal!
Joanna and the team at MDC Legal helped me through one of the most difficult periods of my working career to date. They were professional, efficient and effective in helping me achieve a great outcome. They showed great empathy and understanding of my workplace case and I would recommend them to anyone.
I recommend MDC legal to anyone seeking prompt professional advice and assistance with an employment law matter. I have personally been assisted by Mr Mark Cox and have also worked with some of his legal staff and have been really impressed by the depth of assistance and commitment to achieving positive results. If you have an employment matter and want the best value for money in the long run for your hard earned dollars, contact MDC legal and give yourself the best chance possible.
I used MDC Legal upon another lawyer’s recommendation, for an employment contract for my business. Mark, Jessie and Jo are a great team. Their communication is excellent so I knew what stage the project was at every step of the way. Costs are explicitly outlined so there is complete financial transparency. Very happy with the end contract and their services. Will be using them again for further employment law needs for my business.
Mark Cox and the team at MDC Legal assisted me through one of the most difficult periods in my professional career. They were honest, informative, empathic and very experienced. I could not have achieved the positive outcome I did without them. I highly recommend MDC Legal.
As a not-for-profit community legal center, the Mental Health Law Center has appreciated the considered, professional advice and assistance provided by Mark Cox and his team at MDC Legal. Their advice, not only on matters of employment law but also on applying the law to complex employment situations was communicated clearly and without jargon. The advice they provided was relevant, up-to-date and useful in achieving a positive outcome.
The Employee Handbook and Management Guides provided by MDC Legal are extremely useful, not only in preventing employment situations from arising but also in providing quick guidelines to assist in the day to day managing and creating a positive work environment for staff members.