You Can Email Our Team of Legal Advisers At Any Time – With Any Employment Law Issue – And Get an Answer Within 72 Hours!
This is one of the most useful benefits of your subscription to the Employment Law Practical Handbook – and it's completely free; yours to use as regularly as you want.
Here's how it works...
Whenever you have a legal issue at work – however small – and you need to be absolutely sure you're on a sound footing before acting, just email our workplace helpdesk with your short query and our employment law experts will get back to you, with an answer, within 72 hours – GUARANTEED.
It doesn't matter which area of Australian employment legislation your question relates to - or how insignificant you think it is – by emailing us, you'll know you can be 100% sure of the action to take, and you'll be able to move forward with complete confidence.
This is a FREE service. Unlike when you pick up the phone to an employment lawyer, we won't charge you a cent for our time or our expertise. And all of our advice will be accurate, up-to-date and fast.
Most of the time our legal team will get back to you by return of email, but on the occasions we can't, we'll take no more than 72 hours to find you the answer you need.
To give you an idea, here's some sample questions our email helpdesk has fielded in recent weeks – and how we responded to them...
Q: "In the current climate, our company has enforced a maximum 2 week leave allowance. However, I have an employee wanting to take Long Service Leave – are we able to enforce this ruling on Long Service Leave as well?"
A: Be careful applying a universal rule in either case. Instead I suggest you convey the message to employees in the following terms (The 4-week minimum I suggest for LSL reflects the QLD LSL Act): "Given current economic conditions the Company will only grant periods of paid annual leave in excess of 2 weeks and long service leave in excess of 4 weeks if, having regards to the circumstances of each case, there is a fair balance between the needs of the business and the employee concerned."
Q: "How can I ensure my confidential information is protected when employees leave?"
A: The best way to protect your confidential information is to ensure the employee's contract of employment contains an 'express restraint' clause. This can require an ex-employee not to utilise your confidential information if they commence employment with a competitor to your business when their employment with you ends. You will need to make sure these restraints are properly drafted.
Q: "Can I speak to an employee's doctor to confirm their inability to work?"
A: You will not be able to obtain a copy of a medical report or speak to an employee's doctor, unless the employee consents. It is advisable to have the employee provide their consent in writing. This is because doctors often require a signed medical authority from their patients before they will release any medical reports or discuss a patient's condition.
Q: "How often should I review my employee's contracts?"
A: When employment roles change, you should use this as an opportunity to review the terms of your employee's contracts.
Q: "Do you have any information on storing employees' confidential information, e.g. medical results and drug and alcohol screens? I am having difficulty explaining to my managers that these documents are subject to privacy laws and cannot be made available to everyone in the office."
A: As you are aware, privacy laws strictly govern the management of employee information in relation to health, and employers must ensure that information is collected, stored and used appropriately. Therefore, we suggest that you circulate a policy or memo to all managers stating something along the following lines:
"It is company policy that all medical information about job applicants and employees, including but not limited to drug and alcohol screening results, must be kept strictly confidential. This is in accordance with the requirements of privacy legislation. All medical records must be kept in separate, locked files apart from personnel files, and access to such information will be restricted to a specific person or persons as determined by [insert name]. Any breach of this policy could expose the company to serious legal liability. Consequently, any breach of this policy could lead to disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment."
Imagine hiring a top employment law firm... having them at your beck and call around the clock... and NEVER getting an invoice!
That's what the Workplace Helpdesk gives you. That alone is worth the small subscription cost.
Click here to begin your free 14-day trial of the Employment Law Practical Handbook