Workplace lawyers next victim in the commodisation of legal services


Australia, November 2015.  Workplace lawyers are set to be the next victim of the  commodisation of legal services with Australia’s largest labour hire company Adecco releasing a range of Outsourced Human Resources (OHR) online offerings designed to dramatically reduce if not halve SMEs HR legal spend on services traditionally supplied by workplace lawyers.

The offerings – standard, unique and boutique –provide tailored solutions that enable SMEs to build their own digital HR capability and expertise without incurring prohibitive legal costs.  From the standard to boutique packages, the offerings have been designed to meet the needs and expectations of every SME regardless of size or sector.  They range from basics of employment contracts and employee handbooks to tailored anti-bullying policies, equal employment and sexual harassment issues, employee performance frameworks, gender diversity initiatives, and enterprise bargaining for the manufacturing and logistics sector and compliance with award wages.

According to Adecco’s General Manager of Industrial Relations in Australia and New Zealand and Director of Adecco:OHR (A:OHR) Chris Turner: “Despite the potential for huge costs for non-compliance, many SMEs are not aware of just how close to the wind they are when it comes to complying with the industrial relations and HR regulatory framework in Australia which continues to grow in complexity.  Last year alone the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) received more than 7 million website visits and assisted 20,000 people with complaints, and the Fair Work Commission website received more than 3 million visits and 120,000 unfair dismissal eligibility enquiries. We are also seeing record judgements for damages and compensation being awarded.”

“And even if SMEs are aware of their compliance and employee obligations, our experience and research indicates that the legal costs and lost time incurred in putting in place the correct policies, procedures, frameworks and training are prohibitive for many – and that is what really drove us to launching this new A:OHR offering – linking HR/IR experts with industry experience and expertise to provide real support and allow SMEs to get on with what they do best – running their business.” Mr Turner added.

As the largest labour hire company in the world, Adecco has the industrial experience, technical expertise and commercial know-how to develop and administer these innovative offerings that can be tailored for every business and industry. They can assist businesses manage risk, minimise disruption and save valuable and potentially costly time addressing workplace claims and disputes.

“There is no aspect of the HR legal and performance services that these packages do not offer,” Mr Turner said. “And that is not our only differentiator.  Unlike most HR consulting firms or workplace relations lawyers, Adecco’s 50 year history as the world’s number one recruitment company gives us a unique insight how to manage the recruiting and staffing needs of business in such a way that the best interests of the business are protected at all times and this is reflected in the OHR packages we are offering.

“The last thing any business needs in this challenging environment is a costly and emotionally draining industrial relations dispute or an unfair dismissal or EEO claim that cannot be reliably defended.” Mr Turner concluded.

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