Sydney has more than 71,000 small businesses as of 2019. And while they are major contributors to the city’s coffers, their margin for error is very small. Only a small percentage of them survive the first five years because of financial and operational issues. What most people do not talk about is the legal issues that hound workplaces. These are legal complaints that threaten to bring an entire operation down but are often glossed over.
For small businesses, it is not within their purview to pay retainer services to hire an employment lawyer in Sydney. They think that they have no money to cover the professional charge for the attorney. Unfortunately, the misconception that a lawyer’s fee is always prohibitive still exists today.
Here are some of the common legal troubles in Sydney workplaces that could have been prevented with the help of an attorney:
In Australia, businesses are mandated to comply with the provisions outlined in the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act, 1984 Sex Discrimination Act, 1986 Australian Human Rights Commission Act, and 1992 Disability Discrimination Act, 2004 Age Discrimination Act. Employers are not allowed to take adverse action on any of their workers by virtue of the latter’s age, sex, beliefs, sexual orientation, civil status, religion, and political opinion, among others.
Sharing Of Information
Both the employers and employees have the responsibility to keep confidential information private. It covers the personal details of each of the employees, and this extends to the customers, as well. In the same vein, employees are not allowed to share private information concerning their employers or the office they work for. A confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement prepared by the lawyer will protect you in case of a data leak.
Health & Safety Issues
The employer is responsible for the welfare of its employees, in compliance with the occupational health and safety protocols. Failing to enforce measures to protect your employees can mean the closure of your business, litigation for damages, or any other sanction.
The employer is also responsible for running a background check on its employees and ensuring that all papers are in working order. Before hiring foreign employees, the business should make sure that they have the necessary permits and visas before they are hired. If the business is found to be reckless in hiring illegal workers, the employer can face a two-year prison sentence.
The contract not only outlines the roles and expectations of each party, but it also serves as your protection during litigation. To be valid, the contract must have consent, mutual benefit, and promotes a lawful activity or object. The contracts between employer and employees should be reviewed by a competent lawyer to guarantee that they are bulletproof.
In the end, you will find that protecting yourself from legal troubles is more cost-efficient than being hauled to court.
One of the hurdles of hiring an employment lawyer in Sydney is the myth that they are out to fleece you. Several considerations will affect the professional fee, such as the complexity of the case, the experience of the attorney, the urgency of the matter, filing fees, and the like. Ultimately, if you have a legal issue in your workplace that you fail to address, the same problem will come back to haunt you in the future.
Alice Churchill is a copywriter and content strategist. She helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing the tangible ROI. She loves writing as much as she loves the cake.