Areas of expertise: Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Privacy, Workplace Relations
Julian is an employment lawyer who has also advised a range of large corporate clients on dispute resolution, enterprise bargaining, unfair dismissal, occupational health and safety, anti-discrimination law and industrial relations law.
Julian's more than 11 years of Australian legal experience complements a wealth of legal and industrial relations experience in South Africa where he was director of a private service in industrial dispute resolution, and practised as a solicitor and a barrister. Before joining the firm in 1989, Julian was the Assistant Commissioner (Conciliation) in the Victorian Equal Opportunity Office.
Julian is the author of a book on employment law. He is an accredited mediator and conciliator, and a member of several professional arbitration and mediation associations in Australia and the United States.
The Fair Work Commission recently considered whether a Coles employee, whose conduct had been found to breach the chain's code of conduct and equal opportunity policy, had been unfairly dismissed. The commission noted that the #MeToo movement had commenced and gained traction in late 2017 and was likely to have encouraged the initial complainant and other complainants to report the employee's conduct.
Under new legislation, labour hire service providers in Queensland and South Australia must be licensed to provide labour hire services in order to avoid costly penalties. Businesses that engage labour hire service providers must also ensure that those providers are licensed. The new licensing schemes aim to regulate the provision of labour hire services and protect employees from exploitation by labour hire service providers.
In December 2003 Amcor Limited was granted special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia from the Federal Court's decision entitling employees to redundancy payments as the result of a demerger. The High Court unanimously upheld Amcor's appeal and found that none of the employees' positions became redundant on the demerger.
The outcome of a recent redundancy test case heard by the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission shows that care must be taken in drafting enterprise agreements. It is important that enterprise agreements reflect the various contingencies that might happen during the life of a business, such as the sale of a business unit.
The New South Wales Supreme Court has ruled that an employer was vicariously liable for the unauthorized action of its security guard who headbutted a man while removing him from a hotel, because the unauthorized act (the headbutt) was so closely connected with the authorized act (removal of the patron) that it constituted a mode of performing his regular duties.
A New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission decision is a clear warning that token fines in workplace bullying cases are not adequate penalties for a director. Directors and managers that do not publish and enforce a workplace bullying policy risk a significantly greater fine than those who monitor the efficacy and appropriateness of such policies.
The status of 16 employees made redundant in 1998 is still uncertain after the full Federal Court overturned an Australian Industrial Relations Commission full bench decision to award compensation instead of reinstatement. A further Australian Industrial Relations Commission decision is required before the redundancies can be finalized.
The Federal Court has found that a lockout was protected action, despite notice of the lockout being served on some employees after the lockout started. However, the case demonstrates that it is always preferable to provide clear written notice in advance of action that is intended to be protected.