Justitia offers a comprehensive range of advisory services in relation to all employment-related matters including employee entitlements, contracts and policies, pre-employment requirements, enterprise agreements, modern awards and Fair Work legislation. We also advise and represent employers in relation to industrial issues, bargaining with unions, compliance under Equal Opportunity and Fair Work legislation and dealing with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
We help our clients implement organisational change, including dismissal procedures and redundancy processes. We assist in managing employee performance and dealing with misconduct (including sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying), long-term injured or ill employees, and complaint handling.
At Justitia , the most typical client engagement is as a sounding board, forming long term relationships with clients, working with them to achieve their goals. We listen carefully and seek to add value in providing advice and options. Our lawyers will work with a client to understand their concerns or questions, find out in which format they would like to receive their advice, and any budgetary constraints.
Justitia lawyers also add value through sharing their knowledge about a particular sector or challenge (e.g. managing an employee complaint), and bringing in other experts when needed.
We help clients through not only providing frank advice, but helping them identify the key questions to be answered, and the risks to anticipate.
Our passion is to help clients avoid litigation (unless this is a preferred course).
Whilst our aim is to keep our clients out of courts and tribunals, we recognise that sometimes formal dispute resolution or litigation is unavoidable. At Justitia we think it is important to work efficiently, minimising costs, stress and inconvenience where ever possible. Our focus in these matters is always on obtaining outcomes for our clients that are commercial and cognisant of reputational risk.
Justitia has extensive experience in conducting litigious matters in the Victorian Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Supreme Court as well as the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia. We also represent clients before the Fair Work Commission and in anti-discrimination proceedings.
We act for employers in relation to claims of unfair dismissal, adverse action, bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment, breach of contract and misleading or deceptive conduct.
We also assist our clients to enforce restraints and confidentiality clauses, respond to underpayment and award-based claims, enterprise agreement and Fair Work Act non-compliance claims and provide representation with respect to Work Health and Safety prosecutions and Coronial inquests.
Mediation and arbitration
Justitia’s lawyers have a wealth of experience and considerable success in resolving workplace disputes through informal negotiation, mediation and a wide range of alternative dispute resolution processes. Our approach to alternative dispute resolution is to focus on outcomes, rather than positions.
We offer mediation services to resolve disputes. Our Accredited Mediators are skilled in facilitating open and frank discussions between parties, with a view to achieving a workable long-term resolution of the dispute. We also offer representation for employers who are parties to mediation, conciliation and other dispute resolution processes.
Justitia has also had extensive experience in conducting arbitrations in local government.
Work health and safety
Justitia provides advice on compliance with Work Health and Safety laws in all Australian jurisdictions. We help educate our clients on the responsibilities of workers, managers and officers under Work Health and Safety legislation.
As well as providing advisory services in Work Health and Safety, our lawyers are experienced in defending employers and businesses charged with breaches of these laws.
With our breadth of expertise, our lawyers provide support to boards, as well as in local government with Councillors and Council groups, in a variety of ways.
We support Boards who are experiencing conflict amongst Board members, by way of providing advice, or dispute resolution services such as mediation and facilitated discussions, or investigations. We advise Boards in relation to their CEO, terms and conditions of employment, and issues of performance or allegations of misconduct. We also carry out investigations, audits and reviews at the request of Boards. Please see our other pages for more information.
We work with Councils to assess disputes and dysfunction and explore the options available for resolution. We also arbitrate and mediate allegations of Code of Conduct breaches. Under new local government legislation in Victoria, we help Councils review their Codes of Conduct and policies, and build capacity through training on conflict resolution applying a difficult conversations framework. We collaborate with other organisations in the sector such as the Victorian Local Governance Association, and Justitia is a MAV procurement-certified supplier of legal services.
Investigations and preliminary investigations
Workplace investigators are typically engaged where an employer requires someone independent to gather information necessary for an employer to make sound decisions, whether they be disciplinary or otherwise.
Justitia has a deep expertise carrying out independent investigations on a wide range of complex and sensitive issues for organisations in the public and private sectors. Our lawyers are familiar with public and private sector disciplinary policies and procedures. We can be instructed directly, or through legal advisers.
Our lawyers are sought out due to their professionalism, thoroughness and timeliness. We manage actual and perceived conflicts of interest carefully in order to ensure impartiality. We advise clients about scope, allegations, and the role of legal professional privilege.
Our reports are peer-reviewed and we have a team that works collaboratively to ensure that more complex and sensitive enquiries are appropriately supported to ensure the highest standards in process and report writing.
In addition to making findings of fact, and breaches of policy, we may also be asked to provide recommendations. In some cases, a full formal investigation is not appropriate and Justitia may recommend that a preliminary investigation is the necessary first step.
Our investigators are all lawyers. We have experience working within the Reportable Conduct Scheme as administered by the Commission for Children and Young People. Some of our team have presented university courses in the subject of workplace investigations. We have strong involvement with the US Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) and our lawyers were founding members of the Australasian Association of Workplace Investigators (a branch of AWI).
Justitia lawyers run training courses imparting our knowledge and skills to clients on workplace investigations. We also help in-house investigators with their internal investigations both in a coaching and advisory capacity.
Reviews and Audits
Workplace reviews provide a snapshot of the current cultural climate in a workplace. They provide staff with the opportunity to raise their concerns and identify potential issues in a safe and confidential manner. Importantly, workplace reviews can help identify emerging issues before they become complaints, requiring investigation or defending before external Courts and Tribunals.
Justitia is typically briefed by Boards or senior managers to review team or organisational culture. Organisations have duties to create a safe workplace. Workplace reviews are an effective risk minimisation strategy. Our work during a review may also include an audit of contracts, policies, complaint handling procedures, and data on separation packages, sick and other leave, and legal claims relating to the workplace.
Our team consists of highly-skilled investigators and experienced legal advisors. Once we understand the client’s needs, we can discuss the scope and process for an inquiry, appropriate communications and legal professional privilege.
Justitia provides face-to-face training on a broad range of topics ranging from compliance matters through to best practice professional development programs for managers and staff. We deliver training that is interactive, practical and thought-provoking. We also like co-training with our clients.
Recent topics covered by Justitia training include:
- Equal Employment Opportunity, Anti-Bullying and the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (appropriate workplace behaviours)
- Managing Ill and Injured Employees
- Conducting Workplace Investigations
- Managing Poor Performance, Redundancy and Dismissal
- Code of Conduct Training for Local Government Councillors
- Having a difficult conversation
We can tailor our existing programs to suit the needs of our clients or alternatively create bespoke training programs that address particular workplace concerns, such as when an employee requires one on one training and coaching.