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Case Study 3

Advocating for Employee Rights in a Toxic Work Environment


This case study highlights an advocacy case involving an employee who worked in a shift-based industry. The employee faced an extremely unsupportive work environment, characterised by undermining behaviour and unrealistic performance expectations. Despite working long 12-hour shifts, the employee consistently faced second-guessing from management and additional workload without completing previous tasks. The resulting workplace bullying had a detrimental impact on the employee's well-being and overall work experience.

1. Toxic Work Environment and Insufficient Resources

The employee's work environment became toxic due to the added burden of being assigned a higher-ranking role, without the necessary resources or adequate compensation to effectively carry out the responsibilities. This lack of support and inadequate allocation of resources added significant stress to the employee's already challenging workload.

2. Unfair Treatment and Denial of Workplace Rights

The accumulation of stressors eventually led to a breaking point, resulting in the employee being sent home by management without an opportunity for discussion. Moreover, the employee's annual leave was deducted without their agreement, infringing upon their right to choose when to take leave. Additionally, the employee's long tenure in the organisation made them close to becoming eligible for 10-year long service leave, which further compounded their sense of unfair treatment.

3. Advocacy Services by Advocate IR

Advocate IR intervened on behalf of the employee, taking charge of all communications while the employee was on annual leave. The case was treated as a workplace dispute, with Advocate IR advocating for the employee's rights and fair treatment.

4. Negotiation and Positive Outcome

Through negotiations, Advocate IR secured a favourable resolution for the employee. The final agreement included an exit package equivalent to six months' worth of salary, incorporating full payment for the annual leave taken during the negotiation period. Furthermore, the employee's pro-rated long service leave was also included in the package. Advocate IR applied a no-win, no-fee pricing structure, providing reassurance to the employee and ensuring their interests were represented.


By engaging Advocate IR's advocacy services, the employee obtained a favourable outcome that recognised the breach of his workplace rights and the resulting harm inflicted upon him. The fair compensation provided not only financial support but also allowed the employee to focus on his well-being and family during the transition. This case underscores the importance of seeking professional advocacy services to protect workplace rights, rectify injustices, and secure fair outcomes for employees.

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