Injunctions to preserve the status quo in employment disputes

There is no dispute as to the Court’s jurisdiction and the well settled law relating to the grant of an interlocutory injunction. The purpose of an interlocutory injunction may be to preserve the status quo pending trial as identified in Australian Broadcasting Corporation v O’Neill [2006] HCA 46; (2006) 227 CLR 57 (at [65]). The questions arising have been identified in many cases, including Castlemaine Tooheys Ltd v South Australia [1986] HCA 58; (1986) 161 CLR 148 (at 153):
(a) whether there is a serious question to be tried in the sense that if the evidence remains the same, there is a probability that at trial the party will be entitled to relief;
(b) whether the claimants will suffer irreparable harm for which damages will not be adequate compensation unless an injunction is granted; and
(c) whether the balance of convenience favours the granting of the injunction.
To these limbs a further important rider must be added, namely the interests of justice.
It is important, in my view, that the question of whether there is a serious question not be considered in isolation from the issue of the balance of convenience: Tidy Tea Ltd v Unilever Australia Ltd (1995) 32 IPR 405 (at 416).

Chappell v Griffin Coal Mining Company Pty Ltd [2016] FCA 1248 delivered 21 October 2016 per McKerricher J