Australia: Profile: Andrew Cairns, Senior Associate, Newcastle office
Workplace Directions
Last Updated: 2 February 2011

Andrew has extensive experience in employment and workplace relations law and occupational health and safety (OHS) compliance. He provides advice to manufacturing, corporate, local government, private and charity organisations.

He advises on the interpretation, drafting and negotiation of enterprise agreements, awards and employment contracts, termination of employment, discrimination cases, human resources and OHS policies, procedures and investigations. Andrew also provides advice to clients on industrial organisation management and negotiation strategies, and business restructure strategies.

Andrew regularly advises and represents clients in the industrial and common law courts including the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and Chief Industrial Magistrates Court, Local, District and Supreme Courts, as well as Fair Work Australia the Federal Court and various tribunals.

Andrew was seconded to Tomago Aluminium Company Pty Limited for 18 months to handle their Employee Relations. During this time Andrew gained invaluable experience in working on the ground in a heavily unionised industry and experienced life as a client.

In addition to his qualification in Law, Andrew has a Bachelor of Health Science, a qualification which gives him insight into various medical conditions. He has also worked as an Occupational Therapist.

Andrew has previously travelled to London where he was employed as an in-house employment lawyer at EDF Energy (London Electricity).

Significant experience

  • Assisting and representing clients on the introduction and implementation of a number of enterprise agreements (industrial and corporate) without industrial action or litigation
  • Drafting a wide range of human resources policies and procedures for corporate and non-profit clients
  • Drafting, negotiating and implementing drug and alcohol testing policies and procedures at unionised and non-unionised industrial clients, including conducting investigations into drug use issues
  • Auditing the human resource processes of local councils and advising on local council ICAC submissions responding to complaints
  • Advising local councils on termination procedures and industrial issue management
  • Advising a range of clients on investigations of alleged bullying, harassment, discrimination, drug use, misconduct and workplace safety issues.

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