Brendan Edghill is an employment and industrial lawyer based in Maurice Blackburn’s Sydney office. Brendan had 15 years’ experience working for trade unions across a number of industries before joining Maurice Blackburn in 2021. He approaches providing advice, negotiation and advocacy in a clear, supportive and practical way, and his depth of experience is an asset when it comes to achieving positive outcomes for clients.
“Work is such a huge part of who we are – it is where we spend most of our waking hours and how we most often define ourselves. This is why I am passionate about practising in this area of the law. I am driven by the opportunity I have to make a real difference for our clients,” says Brendan.
Brendan has represented a broad range of employees with great success, from frontline workers to senior managers, in employment matters including unfair dismissals in federal and state tribunals, general protection claims, discrimination claims and underpayment claims.
Brendan has successfully:
- Represented a trade union in an award interpretation and underpayment dispute that resulted in more than $1million in backpay for a group of managers employed within the New South Wales government sector;
- Secured the reinstatement of dismissed workers in at least a dozen cases before federal and state industrial tribunals, including:
- Jia Qi Yan v Spotless Facility Services Pty Ltd T/A Spotless  FWC 922, in which an aged care worker was reinstated after being dismissed for allegedly being unable to carry out the inherent requirements of her job due to a non-work-related injury;
- Brendan Osmond v St Vincent's Hospital Sydney Limited T/A St Vincent's Hospital  FWC 7677, in which a security officer was reinstated after being dismissed for allegedly making a vexatious complaint about another employee;
- Von Senf v State Transit Authority  NSWIRComm 1013, in which a bus driver was reinstated after being dismissed for using a bus radio while driving;
- Mooney v RailCorp  NSWTAB 31, in which a train driver was reinstated after being dismissed for allegedly attempting to cheat a drug test;
- Khalil v RailCorp  NSWTAB 25, in which a train driver was reinstated after being dismissed for allegedly breaching a secondary employment policy;
- Stevens v State Transit Authority  NSWTAB 22, in which a bus driver was reinstated after being dismissed for allegedly endangering a passenger with his driving; and
- Alameddine v RailCorp  NSWTAB 4, in which a station attendant was reinstated after being dismissed for allegedly leaving his point of duty to have an altercation with a customer.
- Secured orders restraining the dismissal of a Health Manager in Jose v Secretary, NSW Ministry of Health (Murrumbidgee Local Health District)  NSWIRComm 1031;
- Represented trade unions in disputes concerning the interpretation of industrial instruments in federal and state industrial tribunals, including:
- Health Services Union NSW v Secretary, Ministry of Health in respect of Western New South Wales Local Health District  NSWIRComm 1007 in which the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales determined that a Local Health District incorrectly failed to progress a group of Trainee Patient Transport Officers to the non-trainee classification, resulting in backpay for a group of union members. The decision was upheld on appeal;
- Health Services Union New South Wales v Health Secretary on behalf of Northern NSW Local Health District  NSWIRComm 1055, in which the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales interpreted the On Call and Call Out provisions of a public health award, resulting in back pay and increased payments for a group of Sexual Assault Workers;
- Health Services Union NSW v Secretary, NSW Ministry of Health in respect of Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network  NSWIRComm 1060, in which the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales determined that an Environmental Allowance was payable to workers who had contact with prisoners, resulting in backpay and increased payments for a group of union members. The decision was upheld on appeal;
- Briefed counsel in Health Employees’ Conditions of Employment (State) Award 2018 (Infectious Cleaning Allowance)  NSWIRComm 1049, in which a Full Bench of the Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales held that certain employees were entitled to refuse to work in “infectious areas”, and that they were entitled to be paid an additional allowance when they did perform such work. An important victory for employees in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic;
- Represented a trade union in a long running dispute concerning the pay and entitlements of a group of workers performing post mortems within forensic mortuaries in New South Wales. The dispute resulted in the negotiated introduction of new Forensic Post-Mortem Technician classifications in Secretary, Ministry of Health in respect of NSW Health Service, NSW Health Pathology Division v Health Services Union NSW  NSWIRComm 1046, resulting in pay increases of up to 12.5% in excess of other yearly increases for union members;
- Secured bargaining orders for a trade union to stop an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement ballot from proceeding in Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union v Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)  FWA 5779.
- Law Society of New South Wales
- Union Lawyers and Industrial Officers