Workplace Law

Workplace Law

The traditional way for lawyers to charge their clients is on a time costing basis - that is, by charging out at an hourly rate (or part thereof) referential to the level of experience and expertise of the lawyer performing the work. Bennett & Philp Lawyers still charge on this basis - including in workplace and employment law matters - but there are other alternative means of charging which are often more appropriate and cost-effective for the client. This is particularly so for workplace and employment law matters which do not involve a dispute.

Please note that appropriate workplace documentation, compliant with applicable legislative and regulatory requirements, is important to minimise risks to the Employer associated with workplace disputes and disruption. Further, appropriate and compliant workplace documentation (such as that referred to at paragraphs 5 and 6 below) is often needed to avoid potential prosecution and penalties for regulatory breach against Employers and the directors and senior officers of Employers.

Bennett & Philp Lawyers offers Employers fixed rates for the following types of work in the workplace and employment law field:

1. General human resources consulting introductory package for small businesses

This legal services package is designed for Employers who occasionally require workplace law or human resources advice. We offer a package whereby the Employer pays a fixed fee to be entitled to 5 hours of work in a year at less than half our employment law team’s usual blended hourly rate. By payment of the fixed fee the Employer is entitled to have our firm perform up to 5 hours of legal and HR consulting work for no further charge.

$950 (plus GST) for five hours legal consulting in the course of the year
usual blended hourly rate would be $2,000 (plus GST))


2. Workplace documentation review and audit package (for small business and medium enterprise clients)

We conduct an audit of the Employer’s workplace documentation (being a review of workplace policy and procedures documentation and employment contract documentation; and interviewing the Employer’s responsible representative) so as to provide the Employer with a summary report highlighting any areas of non-compliance with regulatory requirements and/or where improvements may be made and recommending any further actions necessary to be taken to bring the Employer’s workplace documentation up to standard so as to comply with regulatory requirements and in accordance with industry practice.

$1,250 (plus GST)

3. Employment contracts (standard)

We create a simple “one-size fits all” template employment agreement for the Employer’s non-management, non-sales representative or other unique staff, that has regard to the Employer’s business needs and safeguards the Employer’s interests. We get the necessary information from the Employer to tailor a clear and easy to use employment contract that can be utilised for the vast majority of the Employer’s employees.

$750 (plus GST)

4 Executive Employment contracts

We provide a detailed form of employment contract designed for executive and/or management employees and/or “key role” employees (such as sales representative type employees). Such an employment contract is designed to protect the Employer’s interests by clearly documenting the terms and conditions governing the employment of such key personnel. It is most important for such key personnel that the Employer is protected, as far as possible, with appropriate and detailed restraint and confidentiality provisions. Such executive style employment agreements are drawn with the Employer’s particular business practices and needs in mind.

$1,500 (plus GST)

5. Workplace policy/manual documentation

We provide to the Employer the basic and core workplace policy and procedure documentation to suit most small to medium enterprises, tailored to the Employer’s business and necessary to comply with workplace legislation. This workplace manual includes:

  • (a) overview and summary of general terms and conditions of employment

  • (b) performance appraisal and review procedures

  • (c) lock-up and security procedures for the workplace

  • (d) telecommunications, IT and social media policies

  • (e) equal opportunity policies (re: discrimination; workplace harassment/bullying; sexual harassment)

  • (f)  complaints and grievance handling procedures; general workplace health and safety policy statements and procedures (including first-aid and injury procedures; smoking policy; drugs and alcohol policy). [This does not include a detailed workplace health and safety policy and procedures document - see paragraph 5 below.]

This workplace manual is designed to be a central repository of the Employer’s core policies and procedures for the workplace and is an important document for the proper running of the workplace and compliance with regulatory requirements.

$2,500 (plus GST)

6. Detailed workplace health and safety policy and procedures manual for Queensland Employers

We provide a detailed, long form WH&S policy and procedures document drawn in compliance with Queensland Workplace Health and Safety legislation and regulations and tailored specifically to the Employer’s business and needs. This document must be drawn with detailed knowledge of the Employer’s business and with close input from the Employer’s representatives. Such a document is important for any workplace with numerous employees and/or which involves any activities (such as manufacturing) that pose an increased level of risk.

$3,500 (plus GST)

7. Monthly HR legal consulting retainer

This legal services retainer is designed for Employers either not willing to employ a dedicated HR person or are not large enough to justify employing an in-house HR manager. We offer packages to outsource such HR consulting role to our employment team. By payment of a monthly general HR retainer fee, the Employer can utilise our employment team as external HR consultants at a heavy discount (a discount of over one third from our usual blended hourly rate). Our employment law team’s usual “blended rate” is $400 per hour (plus GST). Two thirds of that blended rate is (rounded down to) $250 per hour (plus GST). Payment of $500 (plus GST) per month, guarantees access to 2 hours of external HR consulting from our firm each month and, further, any time not used in any month will accumulate through the course of a calendar year.

e.g. $500.00 (plus GST) per month will ensure access to 2 hours per month HR legal 
consulting work (cumulative within a year only)

8. Standard hourly rates for employment law
Michael Coates (Director) $480 (plus GST)
Lachlan Thorburn (Third-year lawyer)  $325 (plus GST)
Blended rate $400 (plus GST)

 Most of our work in relation to workplace proceedings (that is workplace disputes in a court of law or in the Fair Work industrial relations commission (or other applicable tribunal) can usually only be sensibly charged for on a time-costing (hourly rate) basis. Generally, it simply cannot be known how much work will be required in such matters so it is very difficult to fix a fee. However, we can fix fees for parts or stages. Clients with consulting or monthly retainer packages can use those hours available under those packages as part of any such workplace dispute matters.