We are delighted to announce Thomson Reuters’ Workplace Sexual Harassment Conference to be held in October 2021.

Workplace Sexual Harassment not only leads to psychical and psychological harm to employees but can significantly affect your organisation’s reputation. A failure to understand and manage these issues can result in liability for employers and employees involved in a breach.

The conference addresses how to develop and implement legally compliant and effective employee behaviour policies and procedures to prevent and respond to workplace sexual harassment.

We look forward to you joining us.

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

Dates & Locations

Melbourne 6 October 2021
Brisbane 13 October 2021
Sydney 20 October 2021
Perth 27 October 2021
Livestream 20 October 2021

Your Investment

Early Bird*
$650 + GST

Standard Pricing
$750 + GST

Livestream

Early Bird*
$595 + GST

Standard Pricing
$695 + GST

*Early Bird closes 25 August 2021

Register now

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


Agenda

9:00AM

WELCOME FROM THE CHAIR

Melbourne: Taboka Finn, Special Counsel, Justitia Lawyers & Consultants
Brisbane: Emily Harvey, Partner, Employment, Thynne + Macartney
Sydney: Tim McDonald, Partner, McCabe Curwood
Perth: Renae Harding, Partner, Jackson McDonald

9:05AM

VEOHRC – Insights on supporting organisations achieve compliance and best practice

  • Using the Commission’s functions to promote improvements in prevention and response to workplace sexual harassment
  • Guideline - Preventing and Responding to Workplace Sexual Harassment: Complying with the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)
  • Practical tools and resources for organisations
  • Building innovation into reporting and complaints processes

Melbourne: Laura Vines, Policy Manager and Kylie Smith, Senior Consultant Equality and Human Rights, The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

Queensland Human Rights Commission – stories from the trenches and lessons learned

  • Insights from conciliated outcomes
  • QHRC’s threshold for accepting complaints of sexual harassment
  • Best approach for resolving complaints

Brisbane: Deborah Keenan, Director, Complaint Management, Queensland Human Rights Commission

ADNSW perspective - on preventing workplace sexual harassment and managing complaints

  • Approaches to preventing
  • Role of community education and awareness in prevention
  • Best approaches for resolving complaints

Sydney: Sally Dews, Conciliation Officer, Anti-Discrimination NSW

WA Equal Opportunity Commission perspectives on preventing workplace sexual harassment and managing complaints

  • WA EEO approaches to education
  • Role of community education and awareness in prevention
  •  WA EEO procedures when a compliant has been made 

Perth: Diana MacTiernan, Commission Services Manager, Equal Opportunity Commission

LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT

9:45AM

What is the law in relation to workplace sexual harassment

  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (SDA) – definition of sexual harassment, prohibited areas of public life such as employment, vicarious liability and remedies.
  • Key statistics
  • Jurisdiction options for harassment claim – state or Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984, and practice and procedure
  • Recent case developments
  • Proposed changes to Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) arising from Respect@Work Report.

Brisbane: Giri Sivaraman, Principal, Maurice Blackburn
Melbourne: Jessica Dawson-Field, Senior Associate, Maurice Blackburn
Sydney: Mia Pantechis, Principal Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn
Perth: Kate Walawski, Partner, Murfett Legal 

10:25AM

NETWORKING AND REFRESHMENT BREAK    

10:45AM

WHS laws and how to reduce the risk of workplace sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is a workplace hazard that causes psychological and physical harm, managing the risks of sexual harassment should be part of your approach to work health and safety

  • What are workers and employers’ obligations and duties under WHS Act
  • Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and state jurisdiction
  • New WHS guidance material on preventing workplace sexual harassment and workplace violence
  • Issues in workers compensation for WHS claims relating to sexual harassment
  • How to set up systems to identify and assessing risk factors for sexual harassment

Melbourne: Kaitlyn Gulle, Partner, Lander & Rogers
Brisbane: Shannon Chapman, Special Counsel, Lander & Rogers
Sydney: Taylor Horrell, Lawyer, Lander & Rogers
Perth: Nicholas Ellery, Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth

PROCEDURES & POLICIES

11:25AM

Protecting organisation reputation following a sexual harassment incident

Sexual harassment can cause reputational damage to employers that can impact an organisations brand, goodwill and confidence of customers, clients, and investors, and to attract talent. Having policies and procedures by themselves will not be sufficient to protect corporations against legal liability for workplace sexual harassment

  • Creating workplace guidelines and policies for prevention of sexual harassment
  • Training on how to identify and respond to sexual harassment
  • Crisis management and dealing with the media following sexual harassment going public
  • Dealing with boards in relation to sexual harassment

Sparke Helmore Lawyers

Whole-of-organisations approach to prevent and manage workplace sexual harassment

Sydney & Melbourne: Victor Sojo, Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Department of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Melbourne

12:10PM

LUNCH AND NETWORKING BREAK  

1:00PM

Creating a psychologically safe workplace culture

  • Understanding psychological safety and why it’s so important
  • How do you develop a ‘speak up’ culture?
  • How can we empower bystanders who witness harassment and bullying?

Melbourne: Dr Brock Bastian, Partner & Principal Psychologist, Psychological Safety Australia

When mediation is an appropriate process to address sexual harassment matters

In certain circumstances, it is crucial to conduct a workplace investigation for sexual harassment complaints.  However, in more nuanced complaints/concerns, a mediation can be an important professional and personal educational opportunity which helps to restore working relationships.

  • Assessing suitability for mediation in sexual harassment matters – where to draw the line?
  • Common themes in nuanced sexual harassment matters
  • Assessing the respondent’s behaviour, position and mindset
  • Developing awareness of behaviour through the intake process
  • Creating pathways for a functional and respectful working relationship

Brisbane: Ruth Levy, Principal, Ruth Levy Consulting

Implementing a diversity and inclusion strategy to prevent sexual harassment

  • What is our individual and collective responsibility to prevent workplace harassment?
  • Speaking up and speaking out – How do we start the conversation and create an inclusive and safe environment where people feel psychologically safe to speak?
  • How can we leverage strong and inclusive leadership to drive change and cultural reform?

Sydney: Sam Turner, Managing Director, Inclusion

CASE STUDY: Examining a workplace sexual harassment scenario

This case study will explore the disconnect between workplace policies and what happens when workplaces fail to follow them and what the workplace could have done to better address the incident.

Perth: Nicholas Linke, Partner, Dentons

1:40PM

Practical session to cover managing the sexual harassment complaints and incidents including investigations

  • How to manage an incident and what preventative measures need to be introduced
  • Procedures to be followed when a complaint is made
  • Internal and external complainants
  • Informal and formal complaints
  • How to investigate a sexual harassment complaint – particular issues to consider
  • How to act fairly to the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator
  • What happens when the investigation is concluded?

Melbourne: Siobhan Mulcahy, Partner, Gadens
Brisbane: Jonathon Hadley, Partner, Gadens
Sydney: Brett Feltham, Partner, Gadens
Perth: Rachel Lee, Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills

2:20PM

Termination and other disciplinary actions following sexual harassment incident

  • Clarifying when sexual harassment can be conduct amounting to a valid reason for dismissal
  • Implications of the definition of ‘serious misconduct’ in FWA to include sexual harassment
  • Other disciplinary options other than termination of employment
  • Termination of employment for sexual harassment conduct

Melbourne: Alison Baker, Partner, Hall & Wilcox
Brisbane & Sydney: Fay Calderone, Partner, Hall & Wilcox
Perth: Jo Alilovic, Director, 3D HR Legal

3:00PM

NETWORKING AND REFRESHMENT BREAK 

3:20PM

Preventing sexual harassment with a new approach to transparency and non-disclosure agreements

Sexual harassment is front and centre a safety issue. The risk lens which boards and senior management respond to SH needs a refocus. There is growing demands on government to amend legislation to impose a positive duty at federal level to prevent sexual harassment on employers. The priority is to expand from minimising reputational damage and legal liability to creating a culture and systems which ensure a physically and psychologically safe workplace. Changing the approach of organisations to transparency and confidentiality, and transforming traditional non-disclosure agreements, is fundamental to systemically preventing sexual harassment.

  • The importance of the Champions of Change Coalition's confidentiality and transparency principles to creating a culture that prevents sexual harassment and fulfils an organisation's duty of care to its people
  • Why we should change traditional non-disclosure agreements and what a new form NDA could look like
  • Recommendations from the Respect@Work report, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, and the UK in relation to NDAs.

Melbourne: Amanda Watt, Partner, MinterEllison
Brisbane, Sydney, Perth: MinterEllison

4:00PM

Panel discussion: Respect@Work recommendations and implications

National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces recommendations
The landmark Respect@Work report 2020 has made 55 recommendations aimed at shifting from a complaints-based system that puts a heavy burden on victims to one where employers must proactively stamp out sexual harassment and create safe workplaces.

  • What are the major recommendations?
  • Potential legislative changes
  • Government and employers’ response to Respect@Work report

Melbourne: Moderator: Taboka Finn, Special Counsel, Justitia Lawyers & Consultants
Panel members: Lucy Boyd, Senior Associate, Hebert Smith Freehills
Kathy Dalton, Director and Principal, Workdynamic Australia
Rob Jackson, Partner, Rigby Cooke Lawyers

Brisbane: Moderator: Emily Harvey, Partner, Employment, Thynne + Macartney
Panel members: Herbert Smith Freehills
Tim Longwill, Partner, McCullough Robertson
Jamie Robinson, Special Counsel, K&L Gates

Sydney: Moderator: Tim McDonald, Partner, McCabe Curwood
Panel members: Nerida Jessup, Special Counsel, Herbert Smith Freehills

Perth: Moderator: Renae Harding, Partner, Jackson McDonald
Panel members: Olga Klimczak, Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills
Dominique Hartfield, Special Counsel, Jackson McDonald

4:40PM

END OF CONFERENCE 

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