First listed on: 16 November 2022

Legal Counsel (Employment & Workplace Relations)


Acknowledgement of Country

CSIRO acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land, sea and waters, of the area that we live and work on across Australia. We acknowledge their continuing connection to their culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. View our vision towards reconciliation

The Opportunity

  • Provide expert legal support, with a key focus on employment and workplace relations
  • An indefinite position, in a flexible and supportive work environment
  • Leverage your legal expertise to be a trusted advisor at CSIRO

The Enterprise Legal Team is part of the Governance function within CSIRO’s Operations Group and is responsible for providing strategic legal advice and practical legal support to CSIRO’s Board, Executive, Business Units and Enterprise Support Services.

CSIRO has an opportunity for a Legal Counsel to provide high-quality legal advice in the focus area of employment and workplace relations law. You’ll support the requirements of internal clients, taking into account CSIRO’s regulatory compliance obligations and strategic objectives, and use your technical knowledge and experience to deliver accurate and solutions-focused legal services.

If you are an experienced legal professional with strong expertise in employment and workplace relations, this role could be your next challenge. Bring your wealth of knowledge and experience to CSIRO; a purpose-lead organisation creating tomorrow today!

Your duties will include:

  • Providing expert legal advice, documentation, and support in relation to a wide range of employment and workplace relations matters including:
    - Internal advice on managing complex cases, terminations of employment, misconduct matters, interpretation and application of relevant terms and conditions of service, policies and procedures and contract law advice. 
    - Advising on relevant legislation, including the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and applicable anti-discrimination legislation. 
    - Managing employment disputes in the Fair Work Commission and/or Federal Court. 
  • Providing legal services that are accurate, clear, timely, practical, risk-adjusted, and solutions-focused and which takes into account strategic priorities, applicable law and relevant CSIRO and Commonwealth policy considerations. 
  • Developing a deep understanding of CSIRO’s strategic objectives, business operations, internal and external stakeholders, political context, and relevant industry partners. 
  • Demonstrating strong legal leadership by exercising initiative and influence to:
    - build relationships with key internal clients (such as the People team, Health Safety and Environment team and relevant Directors); and
    - strengthen the position of the Enterprise Legal Team as a “trusted advisor” across CSIRO.
  • Contributing to the on-going legal education and capability building of CSIRO staff through the development and delivery of practical, applied, and targeted education and training, including on relevant and contemporary topics within the employment law and workplace relations fields. 
  • Maintaining confidentiality when dealing with personal and commercially sensitive information. 
  • Other duties as directed.

Location: Canberra or Melbourne preferred, with other Australian locations negotiable. 
Salary: AU$121k - AU$142k pa plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Indefinite, Full-time.
Reference: 89763

To be considered you will need:


  • A degree in law from an Australian tertiary institution, or a comparable overseas qualification, which is appropriate to the classification and duties of the Legal Counsel (Employment and Workplace Relations) role
  • A current Australian practising certificate or entitlement to hold an Australian practising certificate
  • A minimum of 4 years of post-admission experience, in the legal practice area of employment and workplace relations law, either in private, in-house and/or government role(s).


  • Demonstrated extensive technical knowledge and applied post-admission experience in the legal practice areas of employment and workplace relations law, including:
    - providing strategic legal advice and support on matters, such as;
    - managing complex employment matters, including termination of employment and misconduct matters;
    - interpretation and application of the CSIRO Enterprise Agreement, relevant terms and conditions of service, policies and procedures and contract law advice;
    - advising on relevant legislation including Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and applicable anti-discrimination legislation; and
    - managing employment disputes in the Fair Work Commission and/or Federal Court;
    - managing interactions and investigations with relevant regulators; and
    - supporting the development and implementation of improved employment and workplace relations processes, guidelines, education programs and training materials.
  • With limited technical supervision, the ability to work effectively as a specialist employment law and workplace relations adviser and, in partnership with relevant in-business teams, to effectively support the strategic objectives and operations of CSIRO.   
  • Demonstrated flexibility in thinking and responding to organisational change by adapting strategies, goals, and priorities by utilising your ability to anticipate and manage problems in ambiguous situations, develop appropriate solutions based on thorough evaluation and interpretation.
  • High-level written and oral communication skills and the capacity to identify and influence critical stakeholders to gain support for new proposals/ideas/requirements.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster and develop strong relationships with internal/external stakeholders. 
  • A record of adherence to professional ethics and standards. 

For full details about this role please review the Position Description


Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens and Australian Permanent Residents. Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

23rd December 2022, 11:00pm AEDT

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