Healthcare: Employment & Workplace Safety

Henry Davis York's healthcare employment team covers the spectrum including drafting employment contracts, carrying out investigations, advising on implementing restructures and dismissals, and managing claims following termination of employment. We provide practical front end advice and training, incident management and investigation, legal compliance auditing and devising best practice procedure improvements, and also acting in coronial inquests and prosecutions. We also have extensive experience in discrimination issues stemming from employment or the provision of services.

Our experience

  • Acting for a hospital on a complaint made to the Anti-Discrimination Board by an employee, and at the subsequent mediation. The employee claimed he was directly and indirectly discriminated against on the basis of his alleged disabilities in breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW). In particular, he alleged he was denied overtime shifts due to absences on sick leave. Following the mediation, the employee withdrew his complaint, but then lodged a General Protections Application with the Fair Work Commission. We represented the hospital at conferences convened by the Fair Work Commission and ultimately facilitated the resolution of the matter. We handled the matter sensitively minimised the effect on the ongoing employment relationship.
  • Advising a healthcare service provider in response to a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission. The complaint concerned an allegation of racial discrimination under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) in connection with the wearing by an employee of a "Kara" (a Sikh arm bangle) while undertaking her duties. The employee was a nurse working in Aged Care. We provided advice on strategies for reaching a resolution with the employee, and assisted in facilitating the resolution of the matter, without payment of any compensation.
  • Acting for a hospital in Supreme Court proceedings. A doctor was the subject of two investigations of his competence. Both reviews identified the doctor made considerable clinical errors constituting misconduct. We provided advice to the hospital about its ability to rely on the findings of the investigations to terminate the doctor's employment on the grounds of misconduct. Following the doctor being suspended, and being given notice of termination, the doctor commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court. Following negotiation, the matter was resolved via entry into a deed of release, which included that the doctor be permitted to resign from his employment, following which the proceedings were formally discontinued.