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Workplace Relations, Employment & Safety

Russell Kennedy provides specialist advice on all aspects of workplace relations, employment and safety to clients including government departments, statutory authorities and public and private companies.


We work across a broad range of industries to provide trusted advice on contracts and policies, and assist our clients with managing performance, disciplinary issues, workplace investigations, long-term injuries, and organisational change.

We’re experienced in the interpretation, drafting, negotiation and lodgment of enterprise agreements and awards. We regularly advise on protected industrial action, good faith bargaining and union right of entry, taking care to balance our clients’ legal obligations with practical considerations. 

We also support our clients with managing bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment and unfair dismissal matters. We give guidance regarding compliance with safety obligations under the Victorian system and harmonised national laws, and help clients to respond to workplace safety incidents and deal with investigators including WorkSafe.

Russell Kennedy provides strong representation in conferences, hearings and appeals in State, Territory and Federal courts, tribunals and commissions including the Fair Work Commission, Australian Human Rights Commission and VCAT.

Whether we are providing advice or representing a client in litigation, we are always focused on meeting our client’s strategic objectives.

Libby Pallot and Anthony Massaro, Principals from our Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety team, have been ranked as Best Lawyers in Australia since 2014. Libby has been recommended by Doyle’s Guide.

Russell Kennedy’s Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety team has created a series of checklists to help you avoid common pitfalls and to reduce the risk of costly disputes, these can be accessed here. 

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Poor performance or misconduct? An important distinction

26 Jul 2019

When will an employee’s poor performance constitute misconduct? The Fair Work Commission has considered this question in the recent unfair dismissal decision of Steven Zirilli v StarTrack Express Pty ...

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4 Jul 2019

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission’s decision in Jeremy Lee v Superior Wood Pty Ltd [2019] FWCFB 2946 highlights the increasing tension between technology and privacy in the workplace.

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Long Service Benefits Portability Scheme – new regulations published

28 Jun 2019

The Long Service Benefits Portability Regulations 2019 have been published, just in time for commencement of the Long Service Portability Scheme on Monday, 1 July 2019.