Jeremy adopts a practical, yet technically astute, approach to employment law and industrial relations matters.


Jeremy Cousins

Jeremy Cousins, Principal, has more than 13 years experience as a dedicated employment and industrial relations lawyer. Jeremy has extensive experience with large commercial law firms (including one of the world’s biggest law firms by revenue, DLA Piper) and more recently, a Melbourne-based commercial firm.

Key Credentials

  • Over 13 years experience in employment law and industrial relations
  • Academic qualifications include Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Master of Labour Relations Law
  • Certified Professional, Australian Human Resources Institute
  • Updating author of Thomson Reuters’ Lawbook The Laws of Australia labour law chapters on the Australian Industrial System and Awards and Agreements and the Work chapter in the Human Rights section
  • Acts as an advocate in Commission, Court and Tribunal proceedings
  • Regular speaker on employment law and industrial relations topics (including speaking at various legal industry and human resources training events)

Experience overview

Jeremy adopts a practical, yet technically astute, approach to employment law and industrial relations matters. He works with clients on a wide range of employment law and industrial relations issues including advising clients on industrial relations strategy, agreement negotiations, union right of entry, transfer of business issues arising on the sale and purchase of businesses, defending claims under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and under both Federal and State anti-discrimination legislation. He assists clients with workplace investigations, performance and injury management issues and acts as an advocate in Commission, Court and Tribunal proceedings.

Further information

click here to view more

Examples of Jeremy’s experience includes:


Awards

  • Acting for an employer in an appeal to the Full Federal Court relating to award interpretation issues.
  • Advising an employer in relation to complaints made to the Fair Work Ombudsman concerning alleged breaches of a modern award and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). The matter was satisfactorily resolved and no legal proceedings were commenced against the client.

Bullying

  • Acting for an employer in relation to allegations of bullying made against its CEO. Including arranging and overseeing an investigation into the CEO’s conduct and successfully resolving a claim made by the CEO following the termination of his employment.

Confidential Information / restraint of trade

  • Advising on, and litigating, a variety of confidential information / restraint of trade matters including obtaining and executing Anton Piller (search) orders from the Supreme Courts of New South Wales and Queensland and litigating injunction proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Construction

  • Advising a construction company on compliance issues relating to building industry legislation, the Building Code for the Construction Industry and investigations and examinations. No legal proceedings were commenced against the client.

Discrimination

  • Acting for a large national employer and resolving a claim brought by a job applicant in the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) alleging discrimination on grounds of criminal record. The matter was satisfactorily resolved at an early stage of the claim.
  • Acting for various employers defending discrimination and sexual harassment claims under both Federal and State legislation including in the AHRC, Federal Court, Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission (ADCQ), Queensland Anti-Discrimination Tribunal (ADTQ), Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission (TOADC), Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal (TASADT), Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Drug and alcohol testing

  • Advising a large national employer on drug and alcohol testing issues including in relation to its selected methods of testing and policies. The employer adopted its chosen method of drug testing.

Employment contracts

  • Preparing template employment contracts for various clients tailored to each client’s specific business, objectives and risks. Also drafting various executive service agreements for senior executives including CEOs.

Enterprise agreements

  • Developing, drafting and implementing enterprise agreements, including following protected industrial action.

Independent contractors

  • Defending and successfully resolving, proceedings in the Federal Court in which the claimant-worker who had been engaged as independent contractor alleged that he had, in fact, been an employee.

Industrial action / union disputes

  • Acting for a national manufacturer client in relation to protected industrial action and assisting with the prompt approval of subsequent enterprise agreements following a short period of industrial action.
  • Advising a small Victoria-based engineering client in relation to a union dispute which was promptly resolved.

Labour hire

  • Advising a labour hire company on workforce issues and providing compliance training.

Medical examinations and fitness for work

  • Acting for a national employer to successfully defend proceedings in the Federal Court following the employer’s direction to the employee to provide medical information as a consequence of the employee’s regular absences from work. This decision confirmed the employer’s right to direct its employee to undergo a medical assessment and has subsequently been relied upon as authority to support employers’ rights generally in this regard.

Record keeping and privacy

  • Advising national and international employers on their employee record keeping obligations, electronic document storage issues and privacy obligations.

Redundancy

  • Acting for an international employer in relation to its Australian subsidiary making around 50 employees redundant in Australia. This included assistance with employee and union consultation. No claims were made in relation to the redundancies.

Termination of employment

  • Advising an international company in relation to the termination of employment of its local managing director.

Transfer of business and employee due diligence

  • Acting for a European-based parent company in relation to the proposed sale of its Australian subsidiary including pre-sale vendor employee due diligence assessment and ongoing advice relating to employee consultation, entitlements and process.
  • Acting for a US-based parent company in relation to its acquisition of local Australian businesses and assimilation of businesses with its existing local Australian subsidiaries.
  • Acting for an Australian company purchasing a local business and subsequently engaging the vendor’s workforce. Advising the client on transfer of business and workforce integration issues.

Unfair dismissal and general protections / “adverse action” claims

  • Successfully defending an unfair dismissal claim on jurisdictional grounds in the Fair Work Commission with the claim being wholly dismissed against the client.
  • Successfully resolving various general protections / “adverse action” claims in the Federal Court on behalf of employers and senior employees of the respondent named personally as respondents in the proceedings.

Work health and safety including road transport safety

  • Assisting various clients to defend work health and safety (OHS) prosecutions and attending at various occupational health and safety investigation interviews – including serious safety incidents.
  • Successfully defending a Victorian employer in the road transport industry in relation to alleged breaches of road safety legislation, with all charges against the client withdrawn.

Workplace training

  • Providing “in-house” workplace law compliance training to large national employer following investigation by, and undertakings agreed with, the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Contact: Jeremy Cousins on (03) 8605 4841


Jeremy Cousins

Jeremy Cousins, Principal, has more than 13 years experience as a dedicated employment and industrial relations lawyer. Jeremy has extensive experience with large commercial law firms (including one of the world’s biggest law firms by revenue, DLA Piper) and more recently, a Melbourne-based commercial firm.

Key Credentials

  • Over 13 years experience in employment law and industrial relations
  • Academic qualifications include Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Master of Labour Relations Law
  • Certified Professional, Australian Human Resources Institute
  • Updating author of Thomson Reuters’ Lawbook The Laws of Australia labour law chapters on the Australian Industrial System and Awards and Agreements and the Work chapter in the Human Rights section
  • Acts as an advocate in Commission, Court and Tribunal proceedings
  • Regular speaker on employment law and industrial relations topics (including speaking at various legal industry and human resources training events)

Experience overview

Jeremy adopts a practical, yet technically astute, approach to employment law and industrial relations matters. He works with clients on a wide range of employment law and industrial relations issues including advising clients on industrial relations strategy, agreement negotiations, union right of entry, transfer of business issues arising on the sale and purchase of businesses, defending claims under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and under both Federal and State anti-discrimination legislation. He assists clients with workplace investigations, performance and injury management issues and acts as an advocate in Commission, Court and Tribunal proceedings.

Further information

click here to view more

Examples of Jeremy’s experience includes:


Awards

  • Acting for an employer in an appeal to the Full Federal Court relating to award interpretation issues.
  • Advising an employer in relation to complaints made to the Fair Work Ombudsman concerning alleged breaches of a modern award and the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). The matter was satisfactorily resolved and no legal proceedings were commenced against the client.

Bullying

  • Acting for an employer in relation to allegations of bullying made against its CEO. Including arranging and overseeing an investigation into the CEO’s conduct and successfully resolving a claim made by the CEO following the termination of his employment.

Confidential Information / restraint of trade

  • Advising on, and litigating, a variety of confidential information / restraint of trade matters including obtaining and executing Anton Piller (search) orders from the Supreme Courts of New South Wales and Queensland and litigating injunction proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Construction

  • Advising a construction company on compliance issues relating to building industry legislation, the Building Code for the Construction Industry and investigations and examinations. No legal proceedings were commenced against the client.

Discrimination

  • Acting for a large national employer and resolving a claim brought by a job applicant in the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) alleging discrimination on grounds of criminal record. The matter was satisfactorily resolved at an early stage of the claim.
  • Acting for various employers defending discrimination and sexual harassment claims under both Federal and State legislation including in the AHRC, Federal Court, Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission (ADCQ), Queensland Anti-Discrimination Tribunal (ADTQ), Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission (TOADC), Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal (TASADT), Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Drug and alcohol testing

  • Advising a large national employer on drug and alcohol testing issues including in relation to its selected methods of testing and policies. The employer adopted its chosen method of drug testing.

Employment contracts

  • Preparing template employment contracts for various clients tailored to each client’s specific business, objectives and risks. Also drafting various executive service agreements for senior executives including CEOs.

Enterprise agreements

  • Developing, drafting and implementing enterprise agreements, including following protected industrial action.

Independent contractors

  • Defending and successfully resolving, proceedings in the Federal Court in which the claimant-worker who had been engaged as independent contractor alleged that he had, in fact, been an employee.

Industrial action / union disputes

  • Acting for a national manufacturer client in relation to protected industrial action and assisting with the prompt approval of subsequent enterprise agreements following a short period of industrial action.
  • Advising a small Victoria-based engineering client in relation to a union dispute which was promptly resolved.

Labour hire

  • Advising a labour hire company on workforce issues and providing compliance training.

Medical examinations and fitness for work

  • Acting for a national employer to successfully defend proceedings in the Federal Court following the employer’s direction to the employee to provide medical information as a consequence of the employee’s regular absences from work. This decision confirmed the employer’s right to direct its employee to undergo a medical assessment and has subsequently been relied upon as authority to support employers’ rights generally in this regard.

Record keeping and privacy

  • Advising national and international employers on their employee record keeping obligations, electronic document storage issues and privacy obligations.

Redundancy

  • Acting for an international employer in relation to its Australian subsidiary making around 50 employees redundant in Australia. This included assistance with employee and union consultation. No claims were made in relation to the redundancies.

Termination of employment

  • Advising an international company in relation to the termination of employment of its local managing director.

Transfer of business and employee due diligence

  • Acting for a European-based parent company in relation to the proposed sale of its Australian subsidiary including pre-sale vendor employee due diligence assessment and ongoing advice relating to employee consultation, entitlements and process.
  • Acting for a US-based parent company in relation to its acquisition of local Australian businesses and assimilation of businesses with its existing local Australian subsidiaries.
  • Acting for an Australian company purchasing a local business and subsequently engaging the vendor’s workforce. Advising the client on transfer of business and workforce integration issues.

Unfair dismissal and general protections / “adverse action” claims

  • Successfully defending an unfair dismissal claim on jurisdictional grounds in the Fair Work Commission with the claim being wholly dismissed against the client.
  • Successfully resolving various general protections / “adverse action” claims in the Federal Court on behalf of employers and senior employees of the respondent named personally as respondents in the proceedings.

Work health and safety including road transport safety

  • Assisting various clients to defend work health and safety (OHS) prosecutions and attending at various occupational health and safety investigation interviews – including serious safety incidents.
  • Successfully defending a Victorian employer in the road transport industry in relation to alleged breaches of road safety legislation, with all charges against the client withdrawn.

Workplace training

  • Providing “in-house” workplace law compliance training to large national employer following investigation by, and undertakings agreed with, the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Contact: Jeremy Cousins on (03) 8605 4841