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Meg Aitken

Senior Associate
Fax +61.3.9205.2055

Ms. Aitken is an employment, workplace relations and safety lawyer who advises clients in the public and private sectors across a broad range of industries, including health, education, building and construction, insurance, transport and logistics, sports and government. She assists clients to navigate the many stages of the employment relationship, and has experience providing strategic advice in relation to contractual issues, entitlement disputes, restraint of trade, redundancy, restructuring and workplace planning, enterprise and other collective bargaining agreements, award coverage, employee performance and misconduct and managing ill and injured employees.

Ms. Aitken also has experience assisting clients in complex litigation, including defending occupational health and safety prosecutions and acting for employers in proceedings under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

Professional Background

Ms. Aitken joined K&L Gates as a graduate in 2015 and has also completed rotations in the Insurance Litigation and Commercial Transactions and Outsourcing teams.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Law Institute of Victoria member
  • Victorian Women Lawyers member
  • Pro bono support to a number of not-for-profit organisations
  • Assisting to act for clients in employment related litigation in the Fair Work Commission, the Federal Court, Federal Circuit Court, Supreme Court and VCAT. These matters typically include claims arising from termination of employment, discrimination, sexual harassment claims or breach of contract claims for post-employment restraints.
  • Representing clients in the mining, construction and health industries in relation to charges brought by WorkSafe Victoria alleging breaches of various sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. Ms Aitken has assisted to advise clients on prospects, liaise with Work Safe Victoria, work with counsel to prepare pleas in mitigation and, as a result, has helped clients to avoid conviction.
  • Assisting employers in a range of industries and sectors in the defence of general protections and unfair dismissal claims.
  • Assisting a client in the transport industry to navigate issues relating to designated work group and election of health and safety representatives.
  • Drafting various employment related policies and procedures for clients in a variety of industries including appropriate workplace behaviour guidelines and health and safety policies and procedures.
  • Advising on termination of employment, including assisting employers in managing workplace performance, disciplinary procedures, termination of employment and defending claims arising from termination of employment.
  • Advising on the interaction between awards and enterprise agreements and assisting clients with enterprise bargaining, including assessing whether enterprise agreements pass the 'Better off Overall Test'.
  • Developing and customizing materials for employees and managers of a government department to refer to when conducting serious misconduct investigations, including developing practical flow charts, checklists and templates for use during the investigation process.
  • Assisting a client in the transport and logistics industry to defend a dispute brought by the union arising out of the abolition of a position.
  • Providing advice to clients in various sectors in relation to workplace restructuring and .compliance with applicable legislation, awards and enterprise agreements.
  • Assisting with providing advice to a publically listed company on the potential criminal liability of an employee arising from the unauthorized deletion of a significant number of company records under the Corporations Act and commonwealth and state criminal Acts.
  • Assisting clients to manage the safe return to work of ill and injured employees, balancing operational imperatives with safety concerns.
  • Assisting to prepare workplace behavior training materials including presentations on bullying and harassment, health and safety, discrimination, enterprise bargaining and risks of termination.