Meet The Expert - Bridget Green, Bridgelight Pty Ltd

This month, we meet Bridget Green, one of our Industry Experts, to learn more about Industrial Relations..

Thanks for being with us today Bridget. Firstly, can you tell us what attracted you to working in the Industrial Relations field?

The opportunity I had in 1988 to become a State Industrial Inspector, which really fed my passion for fairness and equity at the workplace.  The ultimate for me was when I was offered and accepted a position of Industrial Advocate, appearing in the Industrial Magistrate court dealing with prosecutions of breaches of the Industrial Relations Act. 

Can you tell us a little about Industrial Relations in the current climate?

In the current climate of Industrial Relations there is an apprehensive mood with Employers due to the many sweeping changes, to be brought in during 2020 relating to the Federal Workplace Health & Safety legislation with its stringent penalties for breaches.

And what are some of the most important aspects of IR that small businesses should be doing?

Small/Medium business should be checking their business documentation regularly to ensure that they  are compliant and current.  Especially regarding contracts of employment, pay rates and applicable penalties.  I would say in my view,  it is the minor breaches that appear to catch small/medium  business out such as their Time Wages records are not always as comprehensive as required should they be audited by a State or Federal Department Workplace Inspector. 

And lastly, what can an Alternative Dispute Resolution Service do for a small to medium size business?

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) allows Employers to engage in a cost-effective process, whereby  the parties can endeavour to genuinely resolve their issues.  Thus, reducing the need to access formal external litigation and allowing the Employer to minimise potential legal risks.  By being a solution orientated and proactive Employer, this allows the parties a dignified forum  to support them when dealing with workplace conflicts.  Employers engaging  an Independent Mediator is often the most effective alternative  for the maintaining the  business’s efficiency and productivity. 

For more information about IR related issues, Bridget Green can be contacted at 0419 125 609 

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