Thomas Parer is the newest addition to the workplace relations team at the National Retail Association. Thomas graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Laws and Arts (majoring in International Relations and French) in 2016. Subsequently, he has worked as an advocate and adviser for trade unions, representing workers in a plethora of industries across both the state and federal jurisdictions.

He is experienced with disciplinary matters, disputes arising under enterprise agreements, and settling wage claims. Thomas was admitted to practise in April 2019, and shortly after joined the NRA Legal team in May 2019. He is passionate about helping workers and employers to achieve and maintain harmonious relationships, and a client focussed approach to resolving disputes.

  1. What excites you about working with retailers?

I am excited to work with retailers because I admire and appreciate their passion for helping others.

Having worked in the retail industry from my first job at 14, and all the way through university, I understand and can empathise with many of the day-to-day realities of working in retail, and have seen first-hand the passion to help others that drives people to get involved in the retail trade.

I also see retail as an important industry where many people first have an opportunity to grow, learn and become a leader in a professional context, particularly for women and young people.

  1. What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I’m not catching up with friends and family, I am organising and planning my monthly dance party, ‘Shandy’, for Brisbane’s LGBTIQ+ community which I recently started, and DJing under my pseudonym, DJ Sweaty Baby.

If you want to get an idea of what my sets are like, check out this playlist I have curated on Spotify:

  1. What is your best piece of advice for employers facing compliance challenges in 2019?

Be pro-active in identifying any compliance issues.

Review your relevant industrial instrument (i.e. contract, Award, or Agreement) from start to finish and identify and address any issues.

By being pro-active, it promotes a positive relationship between yourself and your workers, and avoids unnecessary conflict.