Work is an essential part of our lives as it provides many of us with a sense of satisfaction, a means to pay our bills, and/or a means of improving ourselves professionally. Often, our workplaces operate on a day-to-day basis without us giving much thought to our rights as employees, and that’s normally fine. But what happens when you feel that you’ve been exploited or treated in an unfair manner? Knowing your rights and settling outstanding manners legally may be a way of setting things right.
Australian Labour Law
Australian labour law aims to protect workers and create the right balance between employers and employees across Australia. It’s a blend of Commonwealth Law across Australia as well as state and common law, so knowing your rights as an employee can seem convoluted and byzantine. This is why you should defer to qualified employment law experts such as Pentana Stanton in Melbourne and Dandenong. Our team of legal professionals can give you fair representation and consult with you over your employment concerns.
The Fair Work Act is an important starting place for employees and employers to know their rights and responsibilities. It outlines protections for employees and lawyers will use this Act to try to settle your matter early on when possible. When early settlement is no longer possible, and litigation is the next step, you need legal professionals to help you establish and present your case, even if you’re unsure and feel that you cannot win against bigger and more powerful employers.
Common Employment Problems
Sometimes your instinct is sufficient to know that your employer is in the wrong, but there may be many cases where your employer is breaching employment law without you even realising it. Here are a few common problems that you should bear in mind to better protect yourself at work:
- Unfair dismissal: this is when you feel that you’ve been terminated from your job for questionable reasons. Perhaps your supervisor doesn’t like you personally and fabricates a reason to let you go, or your boss lists a number of points that they previously did not make a big deal about. These and other examples may be a non-genuine reason for your termination.
- Discrimination: your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religious or political belief, physical or mental disability, and/or any other protected characteristic should not be used against you by your employer.
- Harassment: sexual harassment and other forms of bullying or aggressive behaviour can be intimidating and affect your ability to do your job. It’s also a common problem that you should defer to an employment law expert, since many behaviours may constitute harassment.
- Termination payments: if you’ve been terminated but are due for severance or benefit payments and your employer is reluctant or unwilling to pay, you may have a case for legal action.
- Workplace injuries: unfortunately in Australia, workplace-related injuries are quite common. If an injury occurs, you’re entitled to claim ‘no fault’ compensation as well as common law damages.
Settling these types of matters efficiently and with grace and minimal impact on your future employability are things we bear in mind.
What to do?
If you feel that you’ve experienced one of the above problems or would simply like to consult a legal expert regarding a problematic situation at your workplace, call or come visit us at Pentana Stanton in Dandenong or Melbourne CBD. We offer a friendly yet professional approach to resolving your employment-related concerns and can offer you a fair representation should you decide that you’d like to pursue legal action with your employer.