MILLS Oakley has unveiled its new workplace relations, employment and safety (WRES) practice area, with experienced special counsel Shelley-Anne Brace (pictured) set to lead the team.
At yesterday's launch event, attended by several of Brisbane's leading practitioners and business leaders, Brace revealed her intention to build a practice of substantial value and capability.
Ranging from the small family business owners to the large tier-one construction and infrastructure companies, Brace hopes the practice will be an ideal source of help for all clients dealing with WRES issues.
"I'm looking forward to building a strong practice with the backing of the firm on a national level," says Brace.
"In terms of our capabilities, we really have fantastic expertise to service small, medium and large businesses, and we are able to extend our client reach to advise our clients through any workplace issue sitting inside the end to end employment lifecycle."
Since joining the Mills Oakley team in October, Brace has already planned several initiatives to get the WRES ball rolling for the year ahead.
These initiatives include the launch of a specialist webinar series and a collection of breakfast events, both designed to inform clients and industry professionals alike.
Brace believes her role often involves educating her clients about the brass tacks of WRES responsibility.
"Anyone who knows me, and who has worked with me, will appreciate the emphasis I place on educating and empowering my clients to take ownership of their people management skills," says Brace.
"Very often in the Fair Work jurisdiction, and in circumstances where an employer has done all the right things, an employee will not be prevented from bringing a claim, which means the employer will inevitably be placed into a position where they must defend the claim."
"Being able to educate clients on instituting all the right steps through the disciplinary or termination processes makes all the difference."
Over the next 12-18 months, Brace aims to add another two practitioners to the WRES team as the practice profile builds.
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