We are delighted to announce the Thomson Reuters 3rd annual Industrial & Workplace Relations Conference is taking place in Brisbane and online.

The conference will cover the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2021 and other workplace relations reforms and legislative changes in the COVID-19 recovery environment including:

  • The end of Job-keeper and stand-downs;
  • COVID-19 vaccinations and what it means for employers;
  • Changes to modern awards and annualised salaries;
  • Changes to enterprise agreements,
  • Wage theft and the introduction a new criminal offence in Queensland and Victoria;
  • Industrial disputes;
  • Unfair dismissal and adverse action claims;
  • Restraint of trade.

We look forward to you joining us.

For any event enquiries, please email eventsanz@thomsonreuters.com

Dates & Locations

Brisbane: 24 November 2021
Brisbane Hilton

Your investment

Standard pricing
$750 + GST

Register Now

For any event enquiries email eventsanz@thomsonreuters.com

Conference attendance earns 6 CPD points in substantive law




Online: Paul Lorraine, Executive Counsel and Team Leader, Harmers Workplace Lawyers
Brisbane: Emily Harvey, Partner, Employment, Thynne + Macartney


New legislation on casual employment reforms: clarification and simplification of the rules around casuals?

The Fair Work Act was amended to clarify the definition of a casual employee, to introduce new processes for casual conversion, and to provide for the giving of new Casual Information Statements to casual employees. In this session, we explore:

  • What is a casual employee under the legislation and some of the complexities around this definition?
  • The casual conversion process and the extensive assessments that employers must now do of their casual workforces
  • How the FWC can deal with disputes over the new provisions
  • The requirement to give employees the new Casual Information Statements
  • The impact of the Rossato decisions in relation to set off and double dipping of entitlements and how this interacts with the new legislation

Brisbane: Wendy Fauvel, Executive Counsel, Herbert Smith Freehills
Online: Sophie Beaman, Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills


IR reform and FWC from an employer’s perspective

  • What are the implications of the most recent changes to casual definition to workplaces?
  • What are the ongoing industrial and workplace relations issues that employers are having difficulty grappling with?

Brisbane: Ian Dixon, Legal Practitioner Director, Ai Group
Online: Jessica Dolan, Principal Adviser - Workplace Relations, Ai Group


Networking and refreshment break


COVID-19 vaccinations and what it means for employers

Employers and employees are seeking clarity on their workplace rights and obligations as COVID-19 vaccines have become available in Australia.

  • Current status: nearly 2 years on
  • In what circumstances can employers direct employees to be vaccinated?
  • Strategies to encourage vaccinations and dealing with refusals
  • Managing workplace issues in relation to ‘freedom of choice’
  • Policing proof of vaccination in the workplace
  • Vaccinations and our duty of care as employers?
  • Current legal challenges and predications for 2022

Online & Brisbane: Claire Brattey, Special Counsel, Corrs Chambers Westgarth



Changes to enterprise agreements, enterprise bargaining strategies and reforming processes

The rules governing collective bargaining have become more complex while the issues that employers are dealing with have become more varied. This session will equip you with information and strategies to negotiate and implement workplace agreements and practical steps to comply with procedural and technical requirements in negotiation, voting and FWC approval processes.

Brisbane: Shelley Williams, Partner, Kingston Reid
Online: Lucy Shanahan, Partner, Kingston Reid


Lunch and networking break


Managing industrial action: protected and unprotected activity most significant and complex industrial disputes

This session provides guidance to employers on identifying and characterising industrial action and appropriate steps to manage and protect their business.

  • How to recognise the forms of industrial action
  • Notices of intention and what they must contain
  • The use of lock outs: timing and the effect on employee entitlements
  • The ability to stand down employees and when it should be used
  • The role of the Ombudsman and the FWC in making investigations and orders
  • What constitutes unprotected industrial action and practical tips for preparing to respond to unprotected industrial action
  • Relevant cases and how the courts have applied the statutory criteria

Online: Philippa Noakes, Senior Associate, Seyfarth
Brisbane: Georgia Simmonds, Senior Associate, Seyfarth Shaw (via Zoom)



Stand down directions

COVID-19 brought the issue of ‘stand down’ into the spotlight as a means of managing labour costs without redundancy. This session examines stand downs and related considerations, including:

  • Stand downs under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • The laws around leave entitlements during stand downs regarding:
    • Annual leave
    • Long service leave
    • Personal leave
  • Other options for managing labour costs when stand down is not lawfully available
  • Recent case law

Adrian Barwick, Director, WilliamsonBarwick


Networking and refreshment break


Preventing wage theft and new laws in Queensland and Victoria

Wage theft is still in the spotlight in 2021, with the criminalisation of Wage Theft in both Queensland and Victoria. There is also a spate of recent high-profile wage underpayments cases have shown that no industry is immune with estimates of 1 billion in lost wages. Whether instances of underpayment are deliberate, misinterpretation of Australia’s complex awards or payroll function error, organisations need to protect themselves from wage underpayment risk:

  • Federal IR omnibus Bill, federal wage theft law update on what was proposed
  • Queensland law update
  • Wage Theft Act 2020 (Vic), Victorian law update commencing 1 July 2021.
  • Once you discover an underpayment issues what do you do next?
  • Accessorial liability for wage theft as managers will be held accountable and personally liable
  • Penalties for falsification and dishonestly withholding employee entitlement

Brisbane: Tom Reaburn, Senior Associate, McCullough Robertson
Online: Nicola McMahon, Senior Associate, McCullough Robertson


How to reduce the risk of unfair dismissal and adverse action claims in the current environment

Adverse action and unfair dismissal claims can impact productivity and cause financial and reputational damage. The session covers developing and implementing a robust framework for tackling unfair dismissal and termination claims to develop practical strategies for handling claims including:

  • Update on recent interesting unfair dismissal cases
  • What are the parameters of a fair dismissal?
  • The importance of the decision maker in terminations
  • Practical strategies for employers

Online: Michael Byrnes, Partner, Swaab

Restraints of Trade Actions

Post-employment obligations, restraint of trade clauses contained in your contract of employment

  • The scope and operation of restraint of trade clauses
  • How to address restraints post-employment: for employees and employers
  • Use of confidential information by former employees
  • Other applicable causes of action

Brisbane: Edmund Burke, Partner, Holding Redlich