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Case Study 1

Employee Rights Successfully Upheld against a government organisation in Australia


In this case study, we examine a workplace rights scenario involving an employee working for a government organisation in Australia. The employee faced disciplinary action after a complaint was lodged about a comment they made on social media, unrelated to their employer. The employer's handling of the situation, including the employee's suspension and the suggestion of resignation, raised concerns about proper procedures and employee rights. With the assistance of Advocate IR, a positive resolution was achieved, securing the employee's entitlements and avoiding an unjust outcome.

1. Complaint Originating from Overseas

The case began when an individual from the other side of the world reported an employee's social media comment to the employer. Despite the comment having no connection to the employee's employer, it led to an internal investigation and subsequent disciplinary action. The employee faced potential consequences for an unrelated remark, highlighting the need to evaluate the employer's response within the context of employee rights and fairness.

2. Improper Handling by the Government Organisation

The employer, upon receiving the complaint on Monday, delayed taking action until the end of the week, specifically on Friday at 3 pm. During this meeting, the employee was abruptly stood down, and their work laptop and iPad were confiscated. Moreover, the employer suggested that the employee should consider resigning, a suggestion that contravened legal obligations. The aggressive nature of the employer's actions and the timing of the meeting raised concerns about due process and adherence to proper procedures.

3. Intervention by Advocate IR

Advocate IR, specialising in employee rights and industrial relations, stepped in to assist the employee. They advised the employee to cease direct communication with the employer and requested evidence of the employer's social media policy and minutes from the meeting where resignation was suggested. Advocate IR aimed to establish a comprehensive understanding of the case while protecting the employee's interests and ensuring fair treatment.

4. Negotiations and Resolution

In response to the employee's case, the employer engaged an external lawyer to handle the matter. Advocate IR effectively communicated and negotiated with the appointed lawyer to reach a satisfactory resolution. Ultimately, an agreement was reached for the employee to exit the firm, which included a substantial payout encompassing their 10 years of accrued service leave, annual leave, and an additional 15 months of pay, inclusive of superannuation. This outcome surpassed the employee's initial expectations, ensuring a just and favorable resolution.

5. Advocate IR's Fee Structure

Advocate IR's fee structure demonstrated their commitment to fair representation and aligned interests with the employee. Their fee was determined as a percentage solely based on the gross amount of the 15 months' pay, without any involvement in other entitlements. This approach emphasised the ethical and client-centric nature of Advocate IR's services, ensuring a fair outcome for the employee.


Thanks to the intervention of Advocate IR, the employee in this case achieved an outcome well beyond their initial expectations. Through skilled negotiations, Advocate IR safeguarded the employee's rights, ensuring they received appropriate compensation and a fair resolution. This case underscores the importance of seeking assistance when facing workplace disputes, especially when dealing with the complex dynamics involving large organisations.

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