Lauren Townsend has more than 10 years’ experience advising and acting for domestic and international employers in relation to the full range of employment law issues across the employee lifecycle. Lauren’s areas of expertise include employment contract and executive service agreement drafting, enterprise bargaining, industrial action, dispute resolution, management of ill and injured workers, employment contract disputes and claims, transfer of business, compliance with equal opportunity and discrimination legislation and related disputes, workplace bullying and FWC bullying applications, management of underperformance and misconduct including conducting and advising on preliminary assessments and investigations, general protections (adverse action), unfair dismissal, redundancy and restructuring, termination of employment and executive termination and restraint of trade. Lauren has also advised on the proper engagement of independent contractors (including preparation of independent contractor agreements), as well as advising employers about obligations under OHS and harmonised WHS legislation and defending prosecutions for breach of OHS and WHS laws.
The sectors across which Lauren practises include health, manufacturing, agribusiness, aviation, engineering, oil and gas, tertiary education including universities and colleges, schools, transport and logistics, emergency services, retail, the building and construction industry, Federal and State/Territory government departments and statutory entities including the ABCC and FWO, and local government.
Lauren’s legal experience is complemented by her experience as an independent workplace investigator for a range of public and private sector clients including hospitals, universities, Victorian Government bodies and the APS. Lauren is particularly passionate about assisting employers to understand and navigate this increasingly common method of management of potential misconduct and provides oversight, advice and training to employers to ensure investigations are fair, effective and compliant.
Lauren Townsend’s recent experience includes:
- Advising various universities (Monash University, La Trobe University, Victoria University, Deakin University and University of Canberra) on enterprise bargaining, industrial action and a range of other employment matters. Conducting a successful s. 424 application (to stop protected industrial action) for Monash University up to Fair Work Commission Full Bench level. Lauren has also completed a secondment to La Trobe University.
- Advising an international oil and gas company in relation to enterprise bargaining and related disputes, s. 418 unprotected industrial action applications and other aspects of employment law.
- Advising government clients on compliance with WHS laws including drafting WHS clauses for Federal-level construction contracts and conducting a complex and broad gap analysis on compliance with obligations under the harmonised WHS legislation for a government emergency services organisation.
- Advising a major insurance provider in relation to independent contractor/employee distinction issues and related legal claims, and its contract engagement framework.
- Representing an ASX-listed retailer in relation to discrimination claims made by customers across Australia in State and Federal Commissions.