Michael Byrnes is a workplace relations lawyer who understands the full gamut of issues an employer has to deal with.
When clients are hiring, Michael works with them on formalising the terms of employment and advises them on employment contract negotiation, interpretation and drafting, and the impact of modern awards and collective agreements.
He makes sure clients' day-to-day operations run smoothly by advising them on anti-discrimination and equal opportunity, work health and safety, employee fraud and white collar crime, post-employment restraints and confidential information, by drafting and reviewing workplace policies, and running training programs and seminars.
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Michael has appeared as an advocate in various courts, tribunals and commissions in both interlocutory and final hearings. Matters where he has appeared as an advocate at final hearing include common law employment litigation, industrial disputes, unfair dismissal hearings, work health and safety plea hearings and coronial inquests.
Michael is also very experienced in the employment law aspects of corporate transactions, such as corporate restructures and mergers & acquisitions.
Bachelor of Business, University of Technology, Sydney (1994)
Bachelor of Laws (First Class Hons), University of Technology, Sydney (1994)
admitted to practice
New South Wales (1994)
High Court of Australia (1996)
- Law Society of NSW
- Australian Human Resources Institute
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Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety
Royal North Shore Hospital: Michael advised NSW Health on an industrial issue related to the redevelopment of the Royal North Shore Hospital, together with the development of a new state-of-the-art Community Health Services Facility co-located with the redeveloped hospital (one of the State's largest PPP projects to date).
Major transport company: Michael drafted a labour supply agreement for provision of staff.
Confidential client: Michael has advised a confidential client in relation to Health and Safety Representatives.
Employment law issues / M&A: Michael has advised on employment law issues arising from corporate transactions for a range of clients including a television network, an investment bank and a major construction company.
Training: Michael has trained employees of a major construction company on occupational, health and safety training.
Advocacy – unfair dismissal
Unfair dismissal matters: Michael has appeared as advocate for a number of clients in unfair dismissal matters at full hearing before State and Federal Commissions including the State Transit Authority, Franklins Limited, Seven Network Limited, Mayne Limited and Department of Defence.
Unfair dismissal: Michael appeared before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission for a major transport authority as advocate at final hearing in an unfair dismissal case.
Advocacy – unfair contracts and employment contracts generally
Major transport company: Michael appeared before the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission for a major transport company as advocate at final hearing in a contract determination case.
Advocacy – other industrial relations issues
Statutory entitlements: Michael appeared before the Chief Industrial Magistrate's Court for a major transport company as advocate in relation to a claim for statutory entitlements.
NSW Department of Health: Michael appeared for NSW Health in a number of industrial disputes and unfair dismissal matters before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission
Major transport company: Michael appeared before Fair Work Australia as advocate to secure orders to stop unprotected industrial action.
See Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety
More and more, employees' social media use is potentially generating grounds for performance or conduct management, including dismissal. Michael guides employers through the complexities of creating social media policies for employees, and appropriate strategies for dealing with the myriad scenarios that can arise.
See Social Media