Lydia is sought after – she provides solutions to employment and industrial relations matters, not just legal answers.
Having worked closely with Queensland State government agencies and local councils for over 20 years, Lydia understands the different needs of private and public sector clients.
Lydia is particularly experienced in resolving disciplinary matters, managing investigations and complex employee claims, and giving strategic advice on enterprise bargaining and organisational change processes.
Hospital and health services
Providing strategic advice and weekly support to a hospital and health service regarding its organisational change process for three divisions of the Service. This included advising on required steps and options for the business cases for change and implementation plans consistent with industrial instruments, policy, government directives and JEMS role classifications, devising timeframes for consultation and decision making at each stage of the process, drafting correspondence to the divisions, unions and individual employees, and preparing responses to employee enquiries and concerns on behalf of the relevant Executive Directors. Our assistance meant that the three organisational change processes were successfully completed within 12 months, and the one general protections claim that was brought was withdrawn by the employee applicant prior to conference and without the Health Service or Queensland Health agreeing to anything.
Advising a large employer in relation to six years of inadvertent underpayments and overpayments to former employees, and hours of incorrect leave affecting current employees. Over a 14 month period, worked closely with the client project team, in-house counsel and an external advisory firm to consider over 70,000 leave records, provided advice on potential liability under industrial relations laws for penalties and back payments, and provided superannuation and taxation advice on legal compliance. Worked directly with the executive and project team to develop a structured approach to announcing the payroll review, draft internal and external communications with unions and affected employees, obtained favourable ATO decisions regarding superannuation, and devised legal and operational options and strategy to resolve the payroll errors and protect the client’s reputation through the process. With Lydia’s support and assistance, the client successfully resolved the issues without the commencement of any proceedings or regulatory action, and it implemented measures to ensure that there are no payroll anomalies in the future.
State and Local Governments – Discipline
Assisting departments with multiple disciplinary matters: analysing evidence and advising on alleged misconduct (including corrupt conduct), criminal offences and employee performance concerns against executive and senior officers; drafting show cause notices for disciplinary action, and disciplinary findings and penalty letters on behalf of chief executives and senior management. Following termination, successfully defended employee applications for reinstatement, general protections (adverse action), and interlocutory orders in the QIRC. Where instructed, resolved the person’s employment through negotiated terms.
Acting for the State of Queensland to successfully defend three appeals to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission by an employee. Lydia provided strategic advice for each internal review decision by the DDG and DG decision makers, and drafted submissions and jurisdictional objections in the appeals. Currently representing the department to defend a fourth claim of discrimination by the employee in the Queensland Human Rights Commission.
Assisting a company providing national operations and maintenance services to successfully bargain and have approved a greenfields agreement at the Mount Pleasant mine, and two enterprise agreements at the Sonoma and Byerwen mine sites.
In response to objections by the CFMEU to the approval of a new enterprise agreement, prepared submissions and undertakings for a mining equipment services company, which resulted in the agreement being approved following the contested hearing. Matters in dispute included BOOT objections, ‘genuine agreement’ and coverage under the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010 versus the Black Coal Award 2010. For the same company, advised on the appeal of a FWC decision to reject an agreement bargained under the Building and Construction Award 2010.
Restraint of trade matters
Protecting the interests of a national medical device manufacturer and supplier by drafting employment and contractor agreements with tailored confidentiality and post-employment restraints; and successfully protecting the client by securing court orders restraining a former employee from soliciting clients, and the prospective competitor company from engaging the individual in their business in Australia, for up to 12 months after termination.
Successfully resolved an application for stop bullying orders against a large, not-for-profit organisation, and a separate general protections application against respondents in the Fair Work Commission.