Time and energy are a scarce and valuable resource in the workplace, and both are quickly drained when conflict occurs. Our expert team of negotiators and advocates have extensive experience in a variety of forms of formal and informal dispute resolution and draw upon their wealth of experience, expertise and industry contracts to help you develop strategies to resolve workplace disputes while keeping your time, energy and financial cost to a minimum. Some of the strategies we employ are:
In our experience, most workplace conflict involves or arises from unclear, uncommunicated or misunderstood expectations between employees and employers. Ensuring your employment contracts and workplace policies clearly practically communicate expectations within the workplace is a critical step to avoiding dispute or minimising its intensity when it arises at a later stage. We can assist by auditing your workplace documents, recommending updates or changes and providing compliance and best practice training to managers and human resources experts. In most cases, prevention is better – and cheaper – than a cure.
Informal negotiation and advocacy
Once workplace disputes present themselves, the parties have an opportunity to take advantage of informal methods of negotiation and communication to promptly resolve it before it escalates into a situation that disrupts the workplace or creates health and safety risks for the workforce. We help advise and coach parties to workplace disputes to make use of tactful but informal methods of written and oral communication to contain and resolve disputes with a view to preventing the need for formal disciplinary action.
Formal investigation and discipline
If dispute escalates to the point that it begins to disrupt the workplace, trigger health and safety obligations or create a need for formal disciplinary action, the resolution strategy will require a clear plan and approach targeted at an outcome that resolves the dispute and returns the workplace to its normal working order. We have extensive experience advising parties to workplace disputes how to conduct workplace investigations and disciplinary procedures and make use of our network of industry contacts to ensure that the matter is being handled in the most professional and efficient way possible. We consider there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy for handling workplace investigations, so we walk you through the various rights and interests you need to consider and possible strategies you can adopt while ensuring that you retain the ability to make the decisions necessary to bring the matter to resolution.
Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration
Our team has skill and experience obtaining impressive results for clients in mediations, conciliations and arbitrations, both privately convened by the parties and dispute and more formally before the Fair Work Commission. We have practical knowledge and insight of the dynamics at play in these processes and have a track record of adopting creative and innovative strategies to make use of independent experts and third-parties for the quick and efficient resolution of complex disputes.
Litigation is the most time-consuming and costly strategy for resolving workplace disputes, but sometimes it is necessary. We draw upon our skills, experience and professional networks to ensure that, whether you require urgent relief in the form of an injunction or require the resolution of large and complex disputes of fact and law, your case will be presented to the court or tribunal in the most efficient yet persuasive way your circumstances require. Our team has experience conducting litigation across Commonwealth, Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian jurisdictions and has a professional network allowing us to effectively and efficiently conduct litigation on your behalf in any Australian state or territory.
If you would like to speak with one of our team about reviewing or implementing any of our dispute resolution strategies, or if you need our assistance to act on your behalf and need to make an appointment to discuss your case with us, please contact our office.
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