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

Workplace Sexual Harassment not only leads to physical 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

Online 20 October 2021

Your Investment

Online

$695 + GST

Register now

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


Agenda

9:00AM

WELCOME FROM THE CHAIR

Online: Tim McDonald, Partner, McCabe Curwood

9:05AM

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

Online: Sally Dews, Conciliation Officer, Anti-Discrimination NSW
Elizabeth Wing, Executive Manager, Anti-Discrimination NSW

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.

Online: Mia Pantechis, Principal Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn

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

Online: Cameron Hannebery, Special Counsel, Lander & Rogers

PROCEDURES & POLICIES

11:25AM

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

Online: 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

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?

Online: Sam Turner, Managing Director, Inclusion

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?

Online: Brett Feltham, Partner, Gadens

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

Online: Fay Calderone, Partner, Hall & Wilcox

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.

Online: Briony Pole, Special Counsel, 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

Online: Moderator: Tim McDonald, Partner, McCabe Curwood
Panel members: Nerida Jessup, Special Counsel, Herbert Smith Freehills
Lucy Boyd, Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills

4:40PM

END OF CONFERENCE 

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