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What it means to be a workplace relations advisor

Lately, the Fair Work Ombudsman has been calling out workplace relations advisors who are less than honest with employers.
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What it means to be a workplace relations advisor

What it means to be a workplace relations advisor

18 July 2017

We took some time out to speak with one of our workplace advisors here at Workplace Assured. Jessica Parry works at the employment relations team of the year Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors, which is the employment relations firm delivering workplace advice to Workplace Assured customers every day. They have helped to deliver over 20,000 hours of employment relations advice each year.

Lately, the Fair Work Ombudsman has been calling out workplace relations advisors who are less than honest with employers. These operators claim to be connected to the Ombudsman, when in fact they’re not. 

That’s not how we work at Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors. I’m in the Workplace Assured Advice Unit – a team of advisors who respond to employers every day. As part of a team, we collectively support thousands of businesses on employment relations.
 
As a teenager I worked at a small business as my first job. After a while I began to see that the owner sometimes found it tough to keep on top of the employment relations side of the business.

As he was the sole operator, I could imagine it would have been difficult to manage everything on his own. Influenced by these experiences, I decided to study HR and IR at university with the intention of being able to assist people just like the franchisor that I worked for.
 
So becoming an advisor seemed like a natural choice. I took on a role at an industry specific employer association, where we provided assistance on queries from mainly small business employers.

In hindsight, I’m grateful for the experience of working for a not-for-profit organisation that put everything into helping its members. I really got a sense that I was freeing up people to focus on their passion of running a business rather than spending copious amounts of time trying to figure out the detail of employment relations.
 
Several years later, an opening appeared at the law firm which I seized with both hands. While I had a number of interviews with competing advisory firms, there was something about the firm which stood out.

Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors is part of Workplace Assured backed by NSW Business Chamber – a mission-based organisation with 191 years under its belt.

I take personal pride in the knowledge that Workplace Assured and NSW Business Chamber exists for members, and that Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors is actively advocating in the industrial relations space.
 
Supporting employers is our number one priority. How does that work?
 
Put simply, our advice is practical, ensuring that we provide information on employer obligations. We’ll advise an employer on how to best manage their people and the business through compliance. And if the enquiry requires legal advice, the support of the workplace lawyers is not far away. In fact, they’re in the same office.
 
On any given day, we provide advice on an array of different industries, issues and industrial relations areas. The great thing about this is that it means no two days are the same, which keeps my job interesting.
 
What we won’t do is misrepresent who we are, what we do, or what we are about.  
 
I’m proud to be part of the team, and to play a part in helping others.
 
Jessica Parry
Workplace Relations Advisor
Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors

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