We are delighted to announce Thomson Reuters 3rd annual Industrial & Workplace Relations Conference taking place in August in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and livestreamed.

The conference will cover the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2021 and other workplace relation reforms and legislative changes in the COVID-19 recovery environment including: 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; and restraint of trade.

We look forward to you joining us.

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

Dates & Locations

Melbourne: 5 August 2021
Brisbane: 12 August 2021
Sydney: 19 August 2021
Livestreaming: 19 August 2021

Your investment

Standard pricing
$750 + GST

Early bird pricing
$650 + GST
Early bird closes 24 June 2021

Register Now


For any event enquiries email eventsanz@thomsonreuters.com

Conference attendance earns 6 CPD points in substantive law

Agenda

9:00AM

WELCOME FROM THE CHAIR

Paul Lorraine, Executive Counsel and Team Leader, Harmers Workplace Lawyers

IR REFORM  

9:05AM

IR reform and FWC from an employer’s perspective

What are the implications from the employer’s perspective of?

  • Government’s omnibus bill of industrial relations reforms and changes to many of the ongoing issues that employers have been grappling with
  • End of Job-keeper: extending additional flexibilities to some distressed sectors

Ian Dixon, Legal Practitioner Director, Ai Group

9:45AM

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

Melbourne: Alexis Agostino, Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills
Brisbane: Wendy Fauvel, Executive Counsel, Herbert Smith Freehills
Sydney: Herbert Smith Freehills

10:30AM

Networking and refreshment break

10:50AM

Changes to modern awards and annualised salaries for increased simplicity and greater flexibility

  • Annualised salaries what to use and when things go wrong
  • What are the changes and why have the changes been introduced?
  • Set-Off Clauses, Guarantees of Annuals Earnings and IFAs
  • How to comply and what happens to failure
  • How to minimise the risk of getting it wrong?
  • Possible changes to key awards in distressed industries (retail, hospitality, and registered clubs’ awards)

Melbourne: Chris Gianatti, Director, KHG Lawyers

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.

  • Can an employer require an employee to be vaccinated?
  • What happens if an employee refuses to be vaccinated and can an employer require evidence about why they’ve refused?
  • Can an employer require an employee to provide evidence that they have been vaccinated?
  • Can an employer take disciplinary action if an employee refuses to get vaccinated?
  • Can an employee refuse to attend the workplace because a co-worker isn’t vaccinated against coronavirus?
  • Can an employer require a prospective employee to be vaccinated before starting work?
  • How does a vaccination requirement interact with anti-discrimination laws or WHS?

Brisbane: Claire Brattey, Special Counsel, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Sydney: Kate Curtain, Senior Associate, Corrs Chambers Westgarth

ENTERPRISE AGREEMENTS & INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES 

11:30AM

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.

Melbourne: Dominic Fleeton, Partner, Kingston Reid
Brisbane: Shelley Williams, Senior Associate, Kingston Reid
Sydney: Lucy Shanahan, Partner, Kingston Reid

12:10PM

Lunch and networking break

1:00PM

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

Sydney: Philippa Noakes, Senior Associates, Seyfarth
Melbourne: Michael Tamvakologos, Partner, Seyfarth
Brisbane: Sarah Neideck, Senior Associate, HR Law

WORKPLACE RELATIONS

1:40PM

Implementing stand down directions

  • implementation of under section 524 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • The laws around leave entitlements including:
    • Annual leave
    • Long service leave
  • Personal leave in the COVID-19 context
  • Directing an employee while they are stood down

Adrian Barwick, Director, Williamson Barwick

2:20PM

Networking and refreshment break

2:40PM

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

  Melbourne: Michael Nicolazzo, Special Counsel Employment, Safety & People Direct, Maddocks
Brisbane: Tom Reaburn, Senior Associate, McCullough Robertson

3:20PM

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 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

Sydney: 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

Melbourne & Brisbane: Benjamin Marshall, Partner, Holding Redlich

4:00PM

END OF CONFERENCE