Jan 30, 2023
Jan 30, 2023
Joydeep Hor is a graduate of Harvard Business School's Owner-President Management Program having completed earlier undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at the University of Sydney. He has authored 10 books already in his career, including leading texts on termination of employment, workplace behaviour and people strategy. Joydeep appears on Australian television as a leading commentator on workplace relations law and strategy. He is a highly regarded keynote speaker at national and international events.
What qualities make for an effective labour and employment lawyer?
Being a "good lawyer" and being able to solve problems and knowing the law really well are the price of entry for any decent employment lawyers. I like to think that the key differences are around how strategic someone can be and whether their focus can be on avoiding problems from happening or rehappening in the future.
In what ways has the mandatory vaccinations policies in Australia affected the employer/employee relationship?
Given there have been divergent approaches taken by employers to this issue, the impact on the employment relationship has differed.
Employees have been looking to employers for guidance and direction and clarity. However, they have also looked to see whether their employer is willing to take stand on an issue.
Employers have similarly judged employees on those who understand the significance of this issue as against those who do not.
In your opinion, what can be done to improve diversity in the Australian legal market?
I believe that gender diversity is being very well addressed but the extent of racial diversity in the legal profession is lagging well behind.
I am not aware of any judges, for example, who come from an Asian or South Asian background. This is troubling and the focus needs to move away from gender diversity.
How do you see the demands of clients changing over the next five years?
I think the shifts that have been in play for the past few years will continue. Lawyers will need to be seen as business partners who identify solutions rather than technical advisers who know the law.
What«s the best piece of advice you«ve received?
"We pay what we pay you to be told what we can do not what we can't do."
What has been your most challenging labour case to date, and why?
In 2005, I acted for Jessica Rowe who is one of Australia's best-known media personalities. The case arose from her leaving her then employer to go to a competitor network and her employer argued that she hadn«t provided the required amount of notice and on that basis tried to injunct her from making the move. We were able to win five successive cases (all over the Christmas-New Year period) validating her move. The case remains the leading case on fixed-term contracts and how notice periods work in that context. I also ran a case for Orica where the law clarified the responsibilities of an employer returning an employee from parental leave.
As the founder and managing principal of your firm, what are your main priorities for the firm's development over the next few years?
We have a great product and a great brand but translating the success of the value proposition across different individuals is not easy. My single focus is on giving people the opportunity to become their best selves in the context of the firm we are.
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People + Culture Strategies
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