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Employment Law Centre of WA

ELC merger and introduction of Circle Green Community Legal

We are excited to share the news that on 1 October 2020, the Employment Law Centre of WA will be formally merging with two other community legal centres, Tenancy WA and The Humanitarian Group to launch a new entity – Circle Green Community Legal.
In coming together, the Circle Green Community Legal team is committed to not only continuing the important work that each group has been doing individually until now, but to significantly improve the breadth of what we do, providing holistic, wrap-around models of our services. With this merger, we aim to create a system, place and space to ensure a safety net of world-class legal advice, education and advocacy in our specialist fields.
The new entity – Circle Green – will be the only not-for-profit service in WA, offering State-wide specialist legal advice, further assistance, representation, advocacy, community legal education, referrals, outreach and support in employment, migration, tenancy, and family and domestic violence as part of the one service.
We will continue to help vulnerable WA employees understand and enforce their rights at work, but will now have the opportunity to provide other forms of legal assistance and support under the one roof.
We aim to better meet the unmet demand for services and support for people in need, and to work collaboratively with our valued partners and referrers to foster innovation, creativity of thought and excellence in our core specialty areas.

COVID-19 (Corona Virus) update

ELC is OPEN during our usual service hours.
The health and safety of our clients, staff and volunteers is paramount. As a result, we have transitioned to work remotely. This has had a temporary impact on the capacity of our service.
The main way to contact us is to call the Advice Line or complete an online enquiry form.
If you cannot get through on the phone, please complete an online enquiry form.
Thank you for patience and understanding as these new systems are put in place.
COVID-19 employee rights information and resources here.

The State Government today announced the Report into the Wage Theft Inquiry.

The Employment Law Centre of WA (ELC) welcomes Minister Johnston’s announcement in response to Wage Theft today, and the release of the Report of the Inquiry into Wage Theft in Western Australia and the Proposed Government Response to the Inquiry: http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/labour-relations/inquiry-wage-theft-western-australia and https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2019/12/McGowan-Government-announces-actions-to-combat-wage-theft.aspx.
 
Earlier this year, ELC made a submission to this Inquiry as part of its law reform activities: Click here to view our submission
 
In ELC’s experience, workers are frequently underpaid their wages and entitlements.
 
It is also undeniable some employers do this deliberately and systematically.
 
Often the underpaid workers most hurt by this conduct, and who most need to rely on the regulatory framework to protect themselves, are the least able to do so.
 
Each year, ELC assists thousands of callers in Western Australia and regularly hears from vulnerable workers experiencing underpayment of wages and entitlements.
 
Wage theft is the most egregious breach of a worker’s right to be fully paid for the work they perform.
 
In 2017/18, approximately 82% of the callers ELC assisted raised issues of underpayment of wages and entitlements occurring in various forms. This is a substantial area of non-compliance significantly impacting on vulnerable Western Australian workers.
 
The Ministerial announcement today is a welcomed improvement to better protect vulnerable employees.
 
ELC is also grateful that the Report of the Inquiry into Wage Theft in Western Australia recognised ELC’s important role in addressing wage theft in WA. The Recommendation for increased funding to ELC to enable it to provide greater access to its services would be a welcomed boost to ELC’s service and its ability to meet the legal needs of vulnerable, exploited WA workers.

Employment Law Centre of WA Clerkship

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN A CLERKSHIP OPPORTUNITY AT A SOCIAL JUSTICE AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
Download PDF – Clerkship Recruitment Advertisement November 2019
The Employment Law Centre of WA (Inc) (ELC) is a not for profit community legal centre which provides employment law advice to vulnerable Western Australian workers.
We invite law students who have recently completed their first year of study to apply for a clerkship with us.
We are currently seeking law students who can complete an unpaid clerkship two to three days a week for six weeks during the periods of:
18 November 2019 to 17 January 2020[1]
20 January to 28 February 2020
The clerkship program may involve a variety of tasks, including:

assisting with client intake and interviews over ELC’s telephone Advice Line;
arranging appropriate assistance for eligible clients by way of the Advice Line, In-House Solicitor Appointments or our Evening Legal Service;
referring clients to specialist legal, government and community services;
undertaking research and drafting materials in relation to a wide range of employment law issues and law reform
assisting solicitors with client appointments;
assisting develop community legal education; and
assisting ELC solicitors, staff and volunteers as required.

 
HOW TO APPLY
If you are interested, please send a cover letter (addressing the below selection criteria and indicating the clerkship period you want to undertake), your resume and your academic transcript to Clerkship Recruitment at [email protected]
In your cover letter you must briefly demonstrate how you excel in the following areas:

written and verbal communication skills (including being able to effectively communicate with solicitors, vulnerable clients and other staff/volunteers);
time management and organisational skills (including multi-tasking);
attention to detail and ability to complete quality written work within tight timeframes;
computer skills; and
research skills.

 
If you do not address the above selection criteria, your application will not be considered.  Applications are due by Monday 28th October 2019.
[1] This period excludes the ELC end of year closure from 24 December 2019 to 2 January 2020

ELC Seeking Volunteers

ELC is recruiting volunteers with a commitment to social justice and community service. Click on the link below for more information. https://elcwa.org.au/assets/Volunteer-Recruitment-Advertisement-February-2019.pdf