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“The Employment Law Centre of WA (Inc) (ELC) is a Western Australian (WA) based, not-for-profit community legal centre that has been operating for 14 years, specialising in employment law. They provide free employment law advice (mostly from their primary service, a state wide telephone line) and also offer further assistance in the form of representation if clients meet specialised criteria, legal education and outreach and law reform efforts. The Centre focuses on vulnerable, non-unionised employees in WA. The main legal issues they cover include unfair dismissal; adverse action; unlawful termination; underpayment of entitlements; breach of contract; bullying, equal opportunity matters and occupational health and safety. The advice given to clients over the Advice Line is from trained paralegals and junior solicitors operating under the supervision of a senior solicitor. Further assistance is generally provided by solicitors. Generally, all advice and assistance given is of a standard that vulnerable/ disadvantaged clients may not otherwise be able to afford. The centre advises clients on the claim or claims they are eligible to make, the benefits and disadvantages of pursing available claims, the merits of available claims and practical guidelines on how to make these claims. The aim is that the advice will benefit the client in the following ways: increased benefits from legal proceedings (both financial and non-financial), reduce health problems relating to stress/anxiety and improvements to the overall well-being of the client. Additional social benefits to the court system include reducing court costs by reducing the amount of weak/baseless claims and claims in the wrong jurisdiction, reducing potential social security payments to clients and reducing the burden on the health system.”

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