Dempsey, Fiona

Senior Executive Lawyer

Employment and entitlements
Rawson, Craig

Senior Executive Lawyer

While many firms can provide solid advice around employment and industrial issues, only AGS has a truly deep and embedded understanding of how these issues intersect with the many complexities of government, because we, too, are part of the Commonwealth. It is a unique environment, one in which we are uniquely qualified to assist you to navigate.

Working to achieve strategic outcomes that fit within Commonwealth legislation, policies and frameworks is in our DNA. We have been intimately involved in legislative development and implementation across the whole of government.

We have over 100 years of corporate knowledge about the application of the Public Service Act 1999 and predecessor legislation relating to critical employment and industrial relations issues. We were central to the creation and subsequent interpretation of the Fair Work Act 2009. AGS also has extensive experience in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 and has provided substantial training and guidance to agencies on the obligations and operations of this Act.

We are a full-service employment and industrial relations practice and have extensive experience in all aspects of the employment life-cycle from engagement to termination if necessary.

AGS regularly collaborates with client legal teams, human resources and senior management to achieve best outcomes. We understand that workplace issues can be challenging, impact resources, and have emotional and organisational flow-on effects. Our team drafts complex enterprise agreements, individual agreements and consultancy agreements, and will always be mindful of the unique sensitivities of working with government. We provide timely and strategic advice to all stakeholders on all of these issues.

As Commonwealth employees AGS lawyers also do not need approval to appear in the Fair Work Commission on behalf of non-corporate Commonwealth entities.

Critically, we are part of government. We understand the context and nuance of the Commonwealth like no other law firm in Australia. What does this mean for our clients? It enables us to provide advice and consistently achieve strategic outcomes that are always informed by the unique context of government.

We will never be conflicted with government. We will always use our obtained knowledge and strategic insights in the best interests of our valued government clients – never against them.

AGS also has extensive experience on advising on military disciplinary issues. We have an unparalleled understanding of the relevant Acts, procedures, case law and constitutional issues that inform this unique body of law, as well as having all relevant security clearances as required.

Specifically, we can help you draft and interpret:

  • enterprise agreements
  • individual employment arrangements (contracts, individual flexibility arrangements and determinations)
  • consultancy agreements.

We can advise you on:

  • appointments and engagements of personnel
  • workplace discrimination
  • reviews of employment actions
  • misconduct matters
  • evidence assessment
  • procedural fairness requirements
  • suspensions and sanctions
  • submission responses
  • termination of employment, including redundancy
  • legislation relevant to workers' compensation, superannuation, long service leave, maternity leave, and work health and safety.

In terms of relevant military law, we have advised on:

  • the powers of the Military Court under the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982
  • the extra-territorial operation of the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982
  • a range of issues relating to the court martial/Defence Force Magistrate system
  • command powers under the Defence Act 1903
  • disciplinary investigations
  • pending military discipline proceedings (including appeals and protection of Commonwealth information)
  • Repatriation Commission and Military, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC) matters
  • Defence Force Ombudsman matters.