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Workplace relations and safety

The specialist employment lawyers and workplace relations and safety experts at Cooper Grace Ward have provided strategic advice to clients for 40 years combined. They specialise in all aspects of employment and safety law, including industrial relations, anti-discrimination, and workplace health and safety law.

With experience across a broad range of industries, our Brisbane lawyers help organisations of all types and sizes achieve their desired commercial outcomes.

The industries our lawyers advise include construction, energy and resources, transport, labour hire/recruitment, manufacturing, retail, security, education and training, motor vehicle dealerships, community care and health.

The employment lawyers in your corner

Our workplace relations and safety team advises employers about various matters, including restructures, enforcing restraints of trade, managing long term ill and injured employees, employee misconduct, poor performance and effecting termination of employment.

The team also provides assistance to clients managing industrial issues such as enterprise bargaining, right of entry and industrial action.

Cooper Grace Ward successfully represents a diverse range of clients in courts, commissions and tribunals.

Types of matters include workplace health and safety prosecutions, unfair dismissal proceedings, discrimination, sexual harassment and adverse action.

The team are experienced in conducting complex workplace investigations in response to safety related incidents or allegations of misconduct, as well as providing advice to clients about safety compliance matters.

Our legal services for employers include:

  • advice on all aspects of employment contracts, including restraint of trade, remuneration, bonuses, confidentiality and intellectual property
  • enterprise agreement negotiations
  • strategic business restructuring advice (including redundancy)
  • strategic issues relating to outsourcing and transfer of business
  • underpayment of wages and fair work ombudsman prosecutions
  • strategic industrial relations advice on a range of workplace matters, including unions in the workplace, good faith bargaining and right of entry
  • conducting and implementing work health and safety system reviews and audits and providing advice on workplace health and safety compliance
  • accident and incident investigations
  • defence of workplace health and safety prosecutions
  • undertaking a variety of workplace investigations concerning harassment, bullying and other employee misconduct
  • managing ill and injured employees.

Workplace relations and safety law – half-day training programs from leading employment lawyers

At our Brisbane law firm, we have experienced trainers who deliver regular workshops for employers on complex workplace issues, such as:

  • employment basics for small to medium enterprises
  • performance management
  • conducting workplace investigations
  • equal employment opportunity
  • managing ill and injured employees
  • occupational health and safety.

Find out more about our workplace relations half-day training programs.

Mental health first aid training

Our Blended Mental Health First Aid for workplaces course is designed for workplaces that require increased flexibility in the delivery of training for their staff members. The course is a combination of online (eLearning) and a half-day of follow-on face-to-face training.

Over the duration of the course, participants will learn:

  • the signs and symptoms of mental health problems
  • what to do as a mental health first aid responder
  • what resources are available to those with mental health problems.

Learn more about our blended mental health first aid training. Our sessions are delivered by Belinda Winter who is an accredited trainer through Mental Health First Aid Australia.

For legal advice on workplace relations and safety, contact one of our Brisbane employment lawyers directly or contact Cooper Grace Ward on (07) 3231 2444.


Key contacts

Annie Smeaton
Belinda Winter
Gemma Sharp
Special Counsel
Ashleigh Fanning
Megan Pool


Minimum wage to increase to $915.90 per week from 1 July 2024

The Fair Work Commission has handed down its annual wage review decision for 2024. From 1 July 2024, the national minimum wage will increase to $915.90 per week.

CGW ranked Leading Health & Aged Care Law Firms in Doyles Guide for 2024

This achievement is a credit to the teams across CGW who have continued to provide outstanding service to clients in the health, aged care, disability care and community services sectors throughout FY23-24.

CGW ranked Leading Employment Law Firm (Employer Representation) in Doyles Guide for 2024

This prestigious accolade reflects the team's dedication and expertise in the realm of employment and industrial relations law.