Areas of Expertise

Employment, Workplace relations & Safety

Emma advises domestic and international private sector employers, and Australian State, Federal and local government employers, on all aspects of employment law, industrial relations, work health and safety and discrimination law. 

With more than 20 years’ experience, Emma has worked for major Australian law firms, employer associations, in-house and in government roles, (including three years as a senior and Principal Lawyer (a/g) with the Fair Work Ombudsman). This experience allows Emma to consider and evaluate legal situations from a range of perspectives, enabling her to give focused, practical and pragmatic advice to her clients that takes into account all legal, commercial and contextual considerations.

As co-author of the text General Protections under the Fair Work Act, Emma has particular interest and expertise in relation to the general protections and adverse action provisions in Part 3-1 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). She regularly advises and conducts litigation in this area. She also has extensive experience of matters relating to legislative and industrial instrument (award and enterprise agreement) application and compliance; transfer of business; enterprise bargaining; management of industrial disputes and action; award review processes; executive remuneration; management of employee conduct and performance; termination of employment; management of ill and injured workers; issues relating to the distinction between employment and other types of relationship (such as independent contractors); workplace bullying; restraint of trade; and employment-related litigation in the Fair Work Commission and Federal and State courts. 

Emma regularly undertakes independent workplace investigations for employers, particularly in relation to allegations of bullying and misconduct, and provides guidance and training for employers undertaking their own investigation processes. 

She also teaches in the employment law program at Monash University, is regularly published in Australian law journals on a range of workplace law issues, has for several years authored the Victorian and Tasmanian employment law chapters for the encyclopaedia Halsbury’s Laws of Australia, and has previously been an editor of the Australian Journal of Labour Law.

What others say


Food delivery service

Advising and acting for a major gig economy food delivery service entity on a broad range of matters affecting its workers, including work health and safety and litigation on the question of whether the workers were employees or contractors in the Fair Work Commission and Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Logistics employers

Advising large rail and road transport logistics employers on management of employee performance and conduct issues, including terminations of employment.

Agribusiness employer

Advising a major agribusiness employer on issues relating to relocations of various workers overseas, including application of relevant laws and obligations in relation to employee entitlements.

Manufacturing employers

Assisting large and small manufacturing employers with management of long term ill and injured employees, including effecting terminations of employment.

Award reviews

Undertaking comprehensive award application, classification and compliance reviews for a major community services employer and for a major energy sector employer.

Compliance issues

Advising on compliance issues and rectification processes, and assisting with regulator liaison, in the context of historical award non-compliance for a major community services employer.