The industrial relations and employment division of McKays offers professional advice and solutions in the following areas...

Industrial Relations Solutions

Employment & Industrial Relations Legislation, Awards and Agreements

We appreciate the critical importance of keeping our clients in tune with the ever changing IR environment and are able to provide strategic and operational advice to clients on statutory requirements, award provisions, collective agreement making and employment contract matters.

Collective Agreements

We are able to provide valuable and practical assistance with establishing the framework and negotiating teams, workplace change initiatives, negotiation, drafting and approval processes.

Tribunal Work

Our aim is to protect our clients' interests in Industrial Commission matters where we can appear through professional advocacy and effective representation.

Union / Employer Relations and Employer / Employee Relations

We are keen to assist our clients in forging and improving alliances with business, employers or unions; and to assist employers who wish to improve relations with their employees.

Strategic Industrial Relations for new business, mergers and structural change

Our experience enables us to assist clients in the development of appropriate employment arrangements, preparing comprehensive employment documentation and facilitating smooth transitions and implementations.

Legal Compliance

We are readily able to help our clients in understanding and keeping abreast of changes in obligations and entitlements arising in employment relationships and compliance with legislation.

Dispute Resolution Processes

Early dispute resolution is important to effective employment relationships and commercial activities. We consider it our priority to assist clients in the development of effective procedures, providing appropriate advice and professional representation in mediations, conciliations and the arbitration process.

Employment & Human Resource Matters

We can provide you with resources and advice relating to:

  • EEO and anti-discrimination
  • HR policy and procedure development
  • Recruitment and selection
  • Workplace investigations
  • Employment termination issues
  • Anti-discrimination, harassment complaint handling and case representation

Our Philosophy

  • To develop respected relationships with clients
  • To work with and support our clients in the management and resolution of IR and HR issues
  • To assist our clients' business and organisational performance through effective IR and HR approaches and practice

Our Unique Advantage

We have the ability to draw on a range of resources from our other divisions where the situation also requires expert input in other areas (for example machinery hire arrangements, personal property security issues, business structuring etc).

Our location in Mackay gives us an advantage in quickly and effectively assisting employers in the Central Queensland region.

Our extensive experience in the mining services industry and connetions in the industry gives us a unique advantage in assisting mining services businesses to navigate the complexities of employment and contracting in mining services.

If you would like to find out more, view our Employment Law Talk newsletters.

Expertise

Extensive experience in preparing employment agreements and advising on modern award and Fair Work Act compliance in a range of industries such as:

  • Mining Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Sugar Industry
  • Beef production
  • Health
  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Professional businesses

Advising for and preparing enterprise agreements in industries such as:

  • Labour hire
  • Mining services
  • Marine towage

Extensive experience in appearing in unfair dismissal, general protections and employment entitlements disputes in the Fair Work Commission and other relevant tribunals.

Regularly advising in the effective management of underperformance and misconduct situations in workplaces.

On-site training to businesses in:

  • Managing discipline and dismissal
  • Preventing workplace harassment
  • Managing employment privacy

Extensive experience drafting and enforcing employment terms to protect:

  • Business customer relationships
  • Business intellectual property
  • Business confidential information

Employer's Survival Kit

Employment Law issues can pose risks to any business. Innovative solutions are now required to minimise these risks from problems arising in the workplace. McKays' Employer's Survival Kit provides practical advice and recommendations for your business and gives you the opportunity to receive training sessions, telephone advice, reviewing and maintaining of employment contracts and much more.

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  • Swearing in the workplace: is it acceptable by law?

    27-Jul-2016

    Standards of behavior expected of employees can be a difficult thing to navigate, particularly behavior that leads to termination of employment. Whether words are said in a moment of frustration, to add emphasis to a message, or over a series of events, one thing is clear from recent Fair Work d..

    Read More

  • ABCC Guidelines on Compliant Enterprise Agreement

    24-Mar-2017

    The ABCC has released new guidance material dealing with various (typical) enterprise agreement clauses used in the construction industry, and identifying whether those clauses will comply with the 2016 Construction Code (Code). Employers in the construction industry that are covered..

    Read More

  • Amendments to the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act

    12-Nov-2016

    Recent amendments to the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) significantly affect indemnity clauses in service agreements. The amendment is especially important for contractors and labour hire businesses that use or supply labour into the mining and construction industries. ..

    Read More

  • Casual workers will have the right to demand a permanent full-time or part-time job after 12 months

    19-Jul-2017

    In an important decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC), the FWC has decided to insert a provision for the conversion of casual employment to full-time part-time employment into all Awards. The decision was part of the FWC’s 4 yearly review of Awards. Some awards already contain a c..

    Read More

  • Do you understand how superannuation payments are calculated? Reading this could save your business thousands…

    10-May-2017

    Superannuation is complicated and it’s not surprising that businesses can get it “super wrong”. Your business could be paying too much super, or too little. Read on to find out more… We have advised small, medium and large businesses for many years. The two common mistakes that busin..

    Read More

  • Fair Work Commission rules to reduce Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for some workers

    16-Feb-2017

    The long awaited decision by the Fair Work Commission was handed down yesterday as part of its 4 yearly review of awards and penalty rates. The FWC decided to reduce Sunday penalty rates and public holiday penalty rates in awards covering the hospitality, retail, fast food and pharmacy sectors. ..

    Read More

  • Former employees “stealing” staff and customers on the rise… How employers can fight back

    20-Jan-2017

    It seems like every week we hear a new story where a business owner has had a former employee either: Steal their customers; Steal their staff; or Steal their systems or other intellectual property. In some cases, customers, staff and intellectual property have all been targeted. ..

    Read More

  • How the election affects employers – Liberal or Labor

    04-Jun-2016

    We are all waiting to see who actually wins this election. While we wait, employers can look at what the world might hold for them on the workplace relations front under each party. Labor Government If the Labor Party manages to form Government, the affect on employers will probably lar..

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  • Industrial Manslaughter legislative amendments and their relevance for you

    27-Oct-2017

    Recently, the Queensland Parliament (Labor with the help of the Katter Party) passed the proposed industrial manslaughter amendments into law. The amendments broaden responsibility for workplace related deaths and substantially increases the potential penalty. The new offence of industrial m..

    Read More

  • Labour hire businesses, be aware of this ruling!

    14-Oct-2016

    Labour hire businesses face a dilemma when the relationship between the labour hire business’s worker and host employer breaks down to the extent that the host employer demands that the worker is removed from site, or even revokes the permission for that worker to attend at the site. In the ..

    Read More

  • Legislative amendment puts employers at risk for personal injury claims from child sexual abuse

    02-Dec-2016

    A recent and important legislative amendment in Queensland removed the limitation period for actions for damages for personal injury resulting from child sexual abuse. This reform is particularly relevant to employers who could be vicariously liable to victims who, as a result of the employer’s ..

    Read More

  • New unfair contract laws … what they are and how they will affect you

    10-Nov-2016

    On 12 November 2016, new unfair contract laws come into force. They offer opportunities for contractors but also pose some risks. Contracts affected The new laws apply to certain ‘standard form contracts’ entered into on or after 12 November 2016. The laws also apply to any terms of exist..

    Read More

  • Newsflash to labour hire businesses – New regulatory laws may be passed later this month

    20-May-2017

    On Labour Day the Queensland Premier announced the introduction of a new licensing regime for labour hire operators. The stated purpose of the new laws is to “crack-down on rogue operators who are exploiting and mistreating vulnerable workers.”1 The new measures follow an inquiry by the..

    Read More

  • Queensland passes the Industrial Relations Bill 2016

    13-Dec-2016

    Last week, the Queensland Parliament passed the Industrial Relations Bill 2016. This Bill is to commence operation in early 2017, as the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (IRA 2016). The IRA 2016, repeals and replaces the current Industrial Relations Act 1999. In doing so it mostly adopts the ex..

    Read More

  • Restraints aren’t worth the paper they’re written on… and other Urban Myths…

    22-Jun-2017

    As employment lawyers, we often advise clients about employment restraints. Very often we have to start by correcting some common urban myths… Urban myth 1 is, “Employment restraints aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.” Urban myth 2 is, “You can’t protect your business..

    Read More

  • Tattoos in the workplace

    12-Apr-2017

    A recent story carried by many news outlets has put the spotlight on tattoos in the workplace. Chontelle McGoldrick, a 21 year old woman applied for a job with Qantas and Emirates. Her application was rejected because of a small tattoo about 2cm across on her ankle. She was told that if she..

    Read More

  • The legal risk of Christmas parties

    23-Nov-2017

    It’s that time of year again – when staff get together to eat, drink and make merry for the Christmas Party. Sorry to be the Grinch, but without appropriate safeguards, this can turn into an employer’s worst nightmare! Whilst social, a Christmas Party is still a work function. Under anti..

    Read More

  • The most effective and misunderstood tool for employers to eliminate the risk of unfair dismissal claims… guaranteed!

    19-Sep-2017

    To their own emotional and out of pocket cost, many employers do not understand the ‘minimum employment period’ that applies to their employees… That statement is proven by the regularity of enquiry we receive from employers about how to manage the risks of dismissing an employee whos..

    Read More

  • The new labour hire law, don’t be caught out!

    16-Nov-2017

    The Queensland Parliament recently passed new a new labour hire licensing act, the first of its kind in Australia and many local businesses may be impacted. The Act requires labour hire providers to be licenced and that management are 'fit and proper' persons. There are also signi..

    Read More

  • The penalty increase is on

    27-Jul-2017

    In March of this year, we reported on an important decision about increased work health and safety fines in Queensland. This followed the District Court of Queensland’s decision in Williamson v VH & MG Imports Pty Ltd [2017] QDC 56. In that decision, the District Court of Queensland held tha..

    Read More

  • To pay or not to pay, that is the question?

    25-Apr-2017

    During the recent weather events many businesses shut, resulting in employees being sent home and not being able to return to work for a few days. A question we are hearing from employers is;“Do we have to pay the staff?”. Similarly, we have had friends (employees) ask us, “Isn’t it si..

    Read More

  • Vicarious Liability is now too expensive to ignore

    10-Aug-2016

    Ever since the Richardson decision (a decision of Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia) the cost to businesses for vicarious liability for acts by their employees of discrimination, sexual harassment or harassment and bullying can no longer be treated lightly. Until now, the minimal dama..

    Read More

  • Where do you sit in the Hierarchy?

    15-Feb-2017

    Training, signage and personal protective equipment (PPE) are some of the more visible and “go to” risk control measures adopted throughout workplaces. These types of controls are often the first that come to mind because they are more visible, more easily recognised and easier to implement ..

    Read More

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