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Management Action

Employment Law

Do you have questions about management action as an employer? Here is a good starting place.

Specific Issues

On-Demand Resources

View on-demand information about specific issues related to management action and processes in Australia.

Need advice about management action? Call Anderson Legal for a fixed-price initial consultation.

This firm safeguards what matters most and acts purposefully in times of crisis. It acts for employers, executives, and employees.

Having successfully represented litigants in the High Court of Australia, Royal Commissions, Fair Work Commission and multiple other courts and tribunals, Andrew Anderson has a demonstrated record of success in complex and difficult cases.

As a boutique law firm, Anderson Legal is dedicated to providing expert advice and representation in dealing with workplace issues. Although based in Brisbane, this firm advises clients nationally.

Andrew Anderson, Legal Director, is an experienced lawyer who has been independently described by the Courier Mail as “one of the best legal minds” and a “leading corporate and white-collar crime lawyer” (16 December 2021)

Andrew Anderson - Lawyer

Workplace Management Action

If you have searched “management action” or for an “employment lawyer“, you will see there are many options available. Why get advice from Anderson Legal?

If you seek an experienced lawyer to help you when dealing with management action issues, Andrew Anderson has a proven track record of successfully guiding his clients through challenging, complex and serious problems.

The areas of law Anderson Legal handles are narrow yet deep. It ensures this firm can handle all cases to the highest standards, no matter the complexity.

Personalised Solutions

Anderson Legal takes the time to understand the circumstances and priorities of each of its clients and tailors solutions accordingly.

Many business operators and managers attach their identity to their work, and management action can significantly impact reputations and livelihoods.

Resolving management concerns is not always straightforward, as other issues can affect decisions – reputational risks, financial realities, and opportunity costs.

This firm offers tailored strategies to resolve workplace problems.

Workplace Bullying Lawyer - Anderson Legal

Management Action

Disciplinary Processes Australia
  • Managing complaints and grievances
  • Managing flexible arrangements
  • Managing health issues
  • Managing performance issues
  • Managing and preventing misconduct

Managing complaints and grievances

Beyond the obligation of businesses and organisations to provide safe workplaces to all employees, there are financial reasons to implement grievance and complaint policies.

A Harvard Business School study in 2015 entitled ‘Toxic Workers’ showed that employees who demonstrate incivility and other toxic behaviours towards their co-workers have an outsized impact on a team, even above that of a ‘star’ performer. The study shows that an employee with conduct or capacity issues may have, on average, a greater negative financial impact than the positive impact of a ‘star’ employee. The bottom line is there is good business sense in efficiently addressing complaints and grievances amongst employees.

An effective grievance policy allows a business to clearly define the rights and responsibilities of employees to raise issues in the workplace that may affect their safety, well-being, or productivity. It sets a tone for workplace culture, which can help to minimise the reputation and financial risks associated with ineffective or inapt complaints handling processes.

While there are many possible formulations of a complaint or grievance handling policy, a grievance policy may generally:

  1. Set out the scope of the policy
  2. Reference relevant laws / policies
  3. Define the relevant terms
  4. Explain the overarching principles
  5. Outline the grievance procedures
  6. Address compliance expectations

The absence of a grievance policy does not prevent employees from raising complaints or grievances. However, without guidance from the business or organisation, managers and workers may respond to situations differently. In some cases, the absence of a grievance policy or its implementation may heighten the risk of an employer being found vicariously liable for harm caused in the workplace.

Managing flexible arrangements

Flexible working arrangements can benefit both employers and employees.

From the outset, it is important to distinguish between ‘flexible working arrangements’ and ‘individual flexibility agreements’. Flexible working arrangements may be requested under the National Employment Standards, and if agreed do not affect the modern award or enterprise agreement relevant to the employee. Individual flexibility agreements, on the other hand, allow employees to vary certain terms of modern awards or enterprise agreements to better suit their needs.

Examples of flexible working arrangements include:

  • changing hours of work to fit the care needs of children
  • allowing job-sharing arrangements
  • permitting working from home

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) sets out the circumstances that allow an employee to request flexible working arrangements:

Requests for flexible working arrangements

(1A) The following ar the circumstances:

  1. the employee is the parent, or has responsibility for the care, of a child who is of school age or younger;
  2. the employee is a carer (within the meaning of the Carer Recognition Act 2010);
  3. the employee has a disability;
  4. the employee is 55 or older;
  5. the employee is experiencing violence fom a member of the employee’s family;
  6. the employee provides care or support to a member of the employee’s immediate family, or a member of the employee’s household, who requires care or support because the member is experiencing violence from the member’s family.

Special rules also apply to casual employees as well as parents or carers of children returning to work after taking leave in relation to the birth or adoption of the child.

Employers who receive a request for flexible working arrangements may need to comply with any terms in a modern award, enterprise agreement, or employment contract as part of their consideration of it. A response must be provided within 21 days, outlining whether the request is approved or refused. The employer may refuse a request for flexible working arrangements only on reasonable business grounds.

Managing health issues

Irrespective of whether an illness or injury is contracted or sustained at work, employers have responsibilities with respect to managing health issues. There are a number of considerations for employers, including:

  • duties under work health and safety laws
  • workers’ compensation liability
  • privacy issues
  • discrimination issues
  • fitness to return to work

When employees are ill or injured, employers generally must consider the following questions:

  • What are the inherent requirements of the employee’s position?
  • Are reasonable adjustments are possible?
  • Is there unjustifiable hardship by any adjustments?

The legal risks for employers in managing ill and injured workers are real. They include:

  • Unfair dismissal claims in the Fair Work Commission;
  • General protections claims in the Fair Work Commission;
  • Unlawful termination claims in the Fair Work Commission;
  • Workers’ compensation claims;
  • Discrimination claims in an anti-discrimination commission or tribunal, such as the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) or Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC);
  • Breach of contract claim in a court; and,
  • Enforcement action under work health and safety laws.

Managing employee performance

Performance management ought to be seen as a continuous process, which contributes to the overall effectiveness of a business or organisation. For employers, managing performance can ensure goals are met and priorities understood. For employees, it can mean reaching their potential and advancing in their career.

Implementing a performance management system can be difficult for employers, and potentially confronting for employees. For this reason, communication is often essential to ensure the formal and informal aspects of performance management processes are understood and communicated, which can be aided by a performance management policy. It can assist to explain the processes for managing performance and how standards are set, as well as outlining how employees will be supported within their roles and also to develop further skills.

When an employer fails to properly manage performance issues, it can be more difficult to satisfy a court or tribunal that disciplinary action was fair, just and reasonable. For this reason, a performance management system will generally have processes for accurate records of employee progress, as well as any attempts to address employee underperformance.

Managing and preventing misconduct

Misconduct by employees can pose legal, commercial, and reputational risks to employers. It is therefore important for employers to manage and prevent misconduct that affects the workplace.

Developing and implementing a code of conduct for employees may act as the starting point for managing and preventing misconduct. However, certain laws may impose greater burdens on employers and require greater management action. For example, employers may be vicariously liable for sexual harassment perpetrated by their employees if they do not take “all reasonable steps” to prevent it. Merely having a policy in place prohibiting sexual harassment, and even providing some training, has been found in the past to not constitute “all reasonable steps”.

In circumstances where misconduct is suspected or an employee is the subject of a complaint, it is prudent for employers to ensure any disciplinary process is fair and defensible. The steps in a disciplinary process usually involve some or all of the following six steps:

  1. Define the complaint or grievance
  2. Undertake a workplace investigation
  3. Allow an opportunity to respond
  4. Make findings about the issues
  5. Decide on disciplinary action
  6. Deal with any disputed decisions

While an employer may wish to act immediately in a situation involving potentially serious misconduct, it is essential to ensure proper processes are followed to minimise the risk of a successful challenge to a disciplinary decision

Specific Issues: Management Action

On-Demand Resources

View information about specific topics and issues related to management action.

Employee Induction

Employee Induction

Employee induction provides new employees with essential information about their workplace, set expectations, helpful resources, and support.
A well-structured employee induction process will both serve to reduce legal risks for the employer and increase employee retention by making new employees gain an early familiarity with their new workplace.
Employee Training

Employee Training

Employee training is not just about the skills a worker uses to get their job done. It can relate to other business priorities, such as safe work practices, cyber security processes, and team building.
Employers can approach employee training in a variety of ways, including through the use of training arrangements and training agreements.
Probationary Periods

Probationary Periods

If the employment contract is terminated during the probation period, it is common for a lesser notice period to apply than is otherwise the case.
Performance Management

Employee Underperformance

Performance management is a term often used to refer to specific management action taken to address employee underperformance.
The reasons for employee underperformance vary. Effective performance management systems, coupled with performance improvement plans, often can address underperformance issues at an early stage.
Illness and Injury Management

Illness & Injury Management

Managing illness and injury in the workplace can feel complex and burdensome for employers who may wish to support their employees through their issues but also feel the weight of business pressures.
Issues of illness and injury require management action that takes into account relevant laws as they relate to the specific workplace.
Flexible Working Arrangements

Flexible Working Arrangements

Although flexible working arrangements can benefit both employers and employees, it is important for employers to understand the relevant legal, financial, and reputational risks.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) sets out criteria for flexible working arrangements to be considered when requested by employees.
Free Consultation

Anderson Legal offers a fixed-priced initial consultation to businesses, executives, and employees concerning management action.

Who this firm assists

Anderson Legal has a focus on resolving workplace problems. It provides advice and legal services to:

  • small business operators
  • executives in medium to large enterprises
  • employees in medium to large enterprises
  • public service employees

The fundamental importance of sound management action to businesses and organisations makes it critical to have an employment lawyer who can take a personalised approach to such issues. If you need an employment lawyer, there are many reasons why Anderson Legal should be your preferred choice:

  • Andrew Anderson, Legal Director, is an experienced lawyer who has been independently described by the Courier Mail as “one of the best legal minds” and a “leading corporate and white-collar crime lawyer” (16 December 2021).
  • Having successfully represented litigants in the High Court of Australia, Royal Commissions, Fair Work Commission, and multiple other courts and tribunals, Andrew Anderson has a demonstrated record of success in complex and difficult cases.
  • Prior to operating a law firm, Andrew Anderson worked as a Principal Crown Prosecutor in Queensland and barrister in practice at 8 Petrie Terrace Chambers. His depth of courtroom experience ranges from straightforward claims right through to complex trials and appeals.
  • Anderson Legal is a law firm that is dedicated to the best ideals of the legal profession. Seeking to exceed client expectations and working for just outcomes is an everyday pursuit.

Read below how this firm can assist you, what it costs to get advice, and when to contact this firm.

How this firm can assist

With respect to management action, this firm assists businesses and organisations to navigate all kinds of issues, including:

  • advising on management action contemplated by employers
  • assisting with drafting performance improvement plans
  • developing workplace policies and procedures
  • outlining the potential risks faced by employers in taking management action, such as:
    • appeals against management action, as may be provided for in a modern award, enterprise agreement, employment contract, or the policies and procedures of a workplace;
    • ‘stop-bullying’ claims;
    • unfair dismissal claims;
    • general protections claims;
    • discrimination claims; or
    • breach of contract claims.
  • representing businesses and organisations litigating disputed management action in courts and tribunals

Note: Anderson Legal does not provide advice or representation for compensation claims under personal injury or workers’ compensation laws.

What it costs to get advice

Fixed price initial consultation

Fixed-Price Consultation
One-Hour Consultation
No-Obligation Consultation

A fixed-price initial consultation is $495 incl. GST for up to one hour, which may be tax deductible (consult your tax advisor).

If you are dealing with complex questions about management action, book an appointment for an initial consultation with Anderson Legal. It is designed to deliver clear and timely advice that allows you to understand the relevant legal issues and make informed choices about the action that may be taken.

The time is devoted to ensuring an understanding of the particular issues to allow advice to be given based on the information you provide, which may include:

  • The legal framework for management action:
    • Employer rights and responsibilities
    • Employee rights and responsibilities
    • Appropriate steps for the specific situation
    • Relevant contract and policy issues
  • Outline the possible management action outcomes
  • Management action options:
    • dealing with performance concerns
    • investigations into performance issues
    • preparing for performance meetings
    • contested performance reviews
    • performance improvement plans

An initial consultation with Anderson Legal is obligation-free, meaning there is no expectation or commitment to further legal work or costs. If you want to engage this firm to provide you with further advice or legal representation, estimates of costs will be provided as far as possible.

Initial consultations are by appointment only, with in-person, video, and phone options possible.

Representation for disputes following management action

Anderson Legal is transparent about how it charges legal fees.

This firm generally charges on a capped-fee, fixed-fee, or time-costed basis. How you are charged is something that may be negotiated and your preferences are taken into consideration.

Please note that Anderson Legal does not undertake legal work on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis.

In representing businesses, executives, and employees with respect to disputes following management action, Anderson Legal puts in place a formal costs agreement with all clients. This includes a disclosure statement outlining important rights, as well as quotes or estimates for applicable legal fees.

When to contact this firm

Employment law issues can have strict timeframes, so it is prudent to seek legal advice as soon as possible for employment law concerns.

Disputes relating to management decisions by employers can involve many legal complexities, which can have profound consequences for reputations, relationships, and livelihoods. It is the reason why it can be critical for business operators, executives and, managers to get legal advice before taking management action in some cases, and particularly when disputes arise between employers and employees.

If you want legal advice, you should call Anderson Legal to set up an appointment for a fixed-price initial consultation: