Employment & Safety

Our workplace relations and safety team assist our clients navigate the complex maze of employment and safety rights and obligations in a way that is aligned to their unique operational needs and strategic objectives.

We are proud to work with some of the biggest employers in Australia in the corporate, government and financial services sectors.

We advise over 30 government organisations on a full range of employment, industrial relations and safety matters. We work for both Commonwealth and NSW  government agencies such as the Department of Defence, Transport for NSW, NSW Police Force and NSW Health and numerous local government agencies, including the City of Sydney and Waverley Council.

Our team also acts for the biggest private sector employers in Australia including Woolworths, 2 of the Big 4 Australian Banks and large insurers. We frequently advise these clients on their most sensitive matters. We work with them, often at short notice, to resolve disputes and protect their business interests. This includes making and defending urgent applications for injunctive relief, conducting workplace investigations, as well as attending critical safety incidents or dealing with industrial action as a corporate 'first responder'.

They are very good at what they do, but more importantly, they understand our business very well.

Our Top Independent Endorsements

Chambers Asia-Pacific
  • Chambers Asia-Pacific
  • Employment
  • 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
  • The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
  • Employment
  • Workplace Health & Safety
  • 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession
  • Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession
  • Employment & Industrial Relations
  • 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession
  • Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession
  • Workplace Health & Safety Law
  • 2017, 2016

Our Top Employment & Safety Insights

Managing sexual harassment in modern Australian workplaces – what's changed?

  • 08 Jun 2017

Recently we presented to a full room of clients on managing sexual harassment in modern Australian workplaces. It is an issue that has their attention and is being taken very seriously.What has cha...

Can an employer direct an employee to see a company nominated doctor?

  • 11 May 2017

Yes, where the direction is lawful and reasonable. There is a growing body of case law setting out the circumstances in which an employer may direct the employee to attend a medical examinatio...

Emerging and re-emerging WHS risks – the next asbestos?

  • 27 Apr 2017

Recent incidents in which individuals have been exposed to potentially-harmful substances have highlighted the need for businesses to manage the risks arising from PFAS, inhalable dust and asbestos...

WHS – an imperfect harmony?

  • 12 Apr 2017

Last week the Queensland Government signalled potential changes to its model WHS Law, including the possible introduction of higher penalties and additional criminal offences for individuals. This,...

Our Employment & Safety Experience

Aon Corporation

Representing Aon to enforce post-employment contractual restraint on a senior executive who joined a competitor.

PPB Advisory

The Hastie Group had 7,000 employees and its administration gave rise to various urgent employment law issues. HDY provided initial advice about the potential stand-down of thousands of workers and the ramifications of such action within Unions. We also provided urgent advice and strategy on potential occupational health and safety (OHS) issues. Advised on proposals to have Hastie workers employed by contractors to enable construction works to continue.

Transport for NSW and NSW Police Force

Advising NSW's largest government agencies on the impact of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 and drafting of legislative amendments.

Transport for NSW and RailCorp

Lead adviser on the restructure of employment in the RailCorp reform. Advised on the use of legislative provisions to transfer employees; the transfer of the RailCorp Enterprise Agreements and the transfer of other employment conditions; obtaining an order for the RailCorp Enterprise Agreement to apply to new employees in Sydney Trains and NSW Trains; restructuring employment arrangements for senior executives; and the operation and future negotiation of enterprise agreements for each subsidiary.


Acted for Woolworths on its national supermarket agreement. The enterprise agreement covers approximately 100,000 employees - more than any other agreement in Australia.

We have also been involved in landmark decisions in the Fair Work Commission on the interpretation of the Fair Work Act.