The value proposition of PCS is to work with our clients as a
value-creating business partner, providing strategic and
commercial advice to prevent disputation, conflict
and legal problems from arising. The
PCS team works most closely with Heads of HR, in-house
Counsel and an organisation’s senior leadership team.
Legal Advice and Consulting
- Employment Contracts and Policies
The contract of employment remains the cornerstone of the relationship between employer and employee. Organisations who fail to review and update their contracts of employment and fail to ensure that they adhere to good contract administration face significant legal risk and also send a negative message to their workforce. Similarly, while organisations often embrace a tick-a-box approach to policies and procedures, there is a need for all organisations to spend an appropriate level of time and energy in ensuring their policies work for the organisation. PCS offers a comprehensive suite of services in this space that will allow your organisation to be an employer of choice, legally compliant and strategically geared for success in its relationships with its people.
- Award and Agreement Compliance Audits
The consequences for organisations failing to comply with their legal obligations under the Fair Work Act, awards or enterprise agreements can be significant and in some instances can involve individuals being personally prosecuted. With a very active Fair Work Ombudsman, PCS regularly assists organisations through conducting audits that will result in organisations understanding where they may be non-compliant and then working with you to remedy these areas.
- Contractor Management
Organisations who fail to review contracts and arrangements, and fail to ensure that they have clear and concise terms in place, face significant legal risks should an issue arise as to whether the contract is one of service (employee) or a contract for service (independent contractor). As such, it is important that organisations take time to ensure that the terms of the contract are well-defined as to the obligations and duties of the work arrangement. PCS offers a comprehensive suite of services in this space that will allow your organisation to effectively minimise risks and be legally compliant.
- Transfer of Business
The transfer of business involves legal and cultural challenges including redundancies, liability for the transfer of employment entitlements, and how to merge long serving employee positions. With your divestments and acquisitions it is therefore important to know what roles exist within an organisation, those terms and conditions of employment, and what parts of the business are performing in line with your expectations. As well as covering off the mandatory legal considerations, PCS can provide strategic guidance for your organisation to manage these cultural issues that arise in the transfer of business.
- Injured employee and Absence Management
Managing long term medical absenteeism can be frustrating for employers and detrimental both financially and culturally to the organisation. PCS can help employers develop a comprehensive strategy to minimise the impact of the challenges that arise from long term medical absenteeism. PCS has the legal and commercial knowledge to provide the advice to employers that enable employers to make informed decisions for their business needs and interests.
- Confidential Information and Business Protection
The termination of an employee’s employment can have a real impact on the current and future interests of a business. It is important that organisations have the structures in place to be able to protect their business and if termination does occur that they are able to react appropriately in a timely manner. PCS can provide your organisation with the proactive and reactive options available to help you protect your business brand and interests including drafting appropriate restraint clauses.
Investigations and Dispute Resolution
- Mediations of Workplace Grievances
Organisations may find themselves in situations where conflicts and disputes arise for any number of reasons, including legal and non-legal issues. Mediation, if undertaken strategically and with expertise, will mutually benefit both parties and allow for relationships, behaviour and culture in the workplace to continue successfully. PCS offers a comprehensive suite of services, and can provide you with access to specialised and effective dispute resolution mechanisms to achieve an amicable result for all parties.
- Investigations of Bullying and Harassment complaints
The vast majority of employers will have policies for workplace investigations and the way in which these investigations are conducted will involve legal, reputational, and financial risks. Complaints warranting investigation may be indicative of broader disharmony within the workplace that should be addressed and the parties involved in grievance handling procedures may be emotionally vested or subject to a perceived bias. Engaging an external investigator creates the necessary impartiality and fairness, may invoke legal professional privilege and reduces the impact upon ongoing workplace relationships. PCS also offers services in preparing for the investigatory process such as preparing letters and scripts that are tailored to the alleged complaint.
- Representation in FWC and Other Tribunals
The Fair Work Commission has jurisdiction to hear a number of different claims arising from situations in the workplace, including Unfair Dismissal claims, General Protections claims and Anti-Bullying applications. For Unfair Dismissal and General Protections claims, the Commission requires, as a preliminary step, parties to conciliate the matter before going to arbitration. Successful conciliation and, if needed, arbitration requires expertise in the law and people management. PCS offers comprehensive services in this area, providing expertise to ensure that an outcome is achieved that mutually benefits all parties.
- Defending FWO Inquiries
The Fair Work Ombudsman has the responsibility for ensuring that employers (and leaders within employer organisations) are complying with their obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 as well as under awards and enterprise agreements (where relevant). PCS is able to assist clients from the very early stages of an FWO inquiry process right through to the defence of proceedings commenced by the FWO.
Strategic HR Consulting
- Culture Audits
PCS provides a comprehensive diagnostic on the cultural health of your organisation. The project combines a series of staff interviews, reviews of materials such as exit interview data, employee engagement surveys and other relevant data. A written report may then be presented to identified stakeholders with clear recommendations on how any gaps can be bridged by your organisation.
- Development of IR Strategy
PCS has specialised expertise in working with organisations to develop, review and refine their industrial relations strategy. Our approach in holistically understanding our client’s objectives when it comes to their business, culture and approach to third parties sees us as being integrated into the core strategic team often well before an enterprise agreement is due for renewal. We also work with clients who may be faced with “attention” from unions for the first time.
- People Plans
Every organisation, regardless of their size or industry, should have a “People Plan” as an integrated part of their business strategy. PCS can work with your organisation, utilising its signature “People Management Quadrants” paradigm, to develop a people plan that works for you and your organisation.
- Remuneration and Incentive Audits
PCS can conduct a detailed briefing session with Project Lead, undertake a document review of existing remunerative structures, questionnaire and interviews with employees (selected by the company), written report regarding SWOT analysis and recommendations, debriefing session with Project Lead. This package can be modified to suit your organisation’s needs.
- Organisational Structure Reviews
PCS undertakes a comprehensive consideration of your organisation’s People/HR Strategy (which can include a pre-session briefing, half-day facilitated session, review of all relevant documentation and follow-up summary report).
This package can be modified to suit your organisation’s needs.
Education and Thought Leadership Program
- Executive Coaching
Unlike many other organisations who have a broad “coaching” offering, the coaching services provided by PCS are entirely bespoke. Quite often, senior members of the legal team are asked to undertake coaching programs for executives as a result of particular challenges our client has with that individual in relation to bullying and harassment. Coaching programs are available to run for periods as long as 12 months and often include 360 feedback processes with co-workers of the coaching candidate.
- PCourseS (Online Training)
PCS has developed a range of online training programs that have been carefully designed to discharge risk management obligations but also to give insights into best practice in various areas of people management. The programs have each been validated by PCS Founder and Managing Principal (and one of Australia’s leading employment lawyers) Joydeep Hor who has incorporated his significant experience in conducting these workshops in person across Australia and around the world. Full details are available on the “PCourseS” tab of this website.
- PClasseS (annual workshop series)
PClasseS is an annual series of masterclass-style tutorials held for small groups of HR professionals, in-house lawyers and people managers covering discrete skills and learnings in people management. The topics covered each year vary with full details of the PClasseS schedule being available on the “Events” page of this website.
- Leadership Training in Behaviour & Culture
The signature face-to-face training product offered by PCS is based on a module developed by Joydeep Hor two decades ago to provide interactive, provocative and informative training on the subject of appropriate workplace behaviour. Some of the topics covered in this program (which is delivered at a management as well as at a staff level) include:
- Your organisation’s values and principles
- Comments on a changing workplace
- Social media
- Out-of-hours conduct (work functions, kick-on-events and private functions)
- Client and customer interactions
- Consensual relationships
- Bullying in the performance management context
- Nicknames and other workplace “norms”
- Appropriate topics of conversation in the workplace and banter
- Sharing “too much information”
- High profile cases
- Performance Management education
The signature face-to-face training product offered by PCS is based on a module developed by Joydeep Hor with a single purpose in mind: to make managers better at people management. This program is based on equipping managers and supervisors with the tools they will need to:
- help you to introduce a high performance culture in your organisation
- understand why they may struggle to performance manage well
- have the “crucial/difficult conversations”
- understand the basics of the law around dismissal and performance management
- be aware of case studies where poor performance has been turned around by leaders.
- Legal Fundamentals in HR training
This program has been presented since 2013 and was designed to cover comprehensively all relevant aspects of Australian labour and employment law for HR professionals, in-house lawyers (who may not have an employment law background) and others in organisations who have people management responsibility.
Topics covered are:
- Overview of the Australian labour and employment law system including:
- Understanding federal and state systems
- The NES, awards and agreements
- Key Courts and Tribunals
- Enterprise Bargaining
2. Employment documentation and management including:
- The employment contract: what is it?
- Confidentiality and restraints of trade
- Recruitment and screening risks and pitfalls
- Policies and procedures in the employment relationship
- Employees vs contractors
3. EEO, harassment, discrimination and Work Health & Safety including:
- Discrimination, harassment and bullying claims
- Work health and safety legislation and management
- Effective training in EEO and WHS matters
- Workplace surveillance
4. Termination and litigation including:
- Termination of employment: redundancies, misconduct and performance
- Organisational change and restructures
- Understanding legal claims
- The litigation process
Even before COVID-19, PCS saw the value of educating its clients and other business partners through webinars.
Since inception, PCS has presented webinars on thought-provoking subjects and topics in people management. While occasionally the subjects covered address critical legal developments, more commonly webinars look at themes that have broader relevance for our clients and are designed to give meaningful information for participants, rather than just a “tease” as to the services PCS can provide. For this reason our webinars are only complimentary to clients of our firm who have engaged us on one of our Partnership or Partnership Plus subscriptions.