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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

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.