Respect@Work: Update and Consideration of the AHRC’s New Inquiry and Enforcement Powers

Tuesday, 19 March 2024

Attend and earn 1 CPD hour in Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment
This program is based on SA legislation

Bullying, Discrimination and Harassment
3.15pm to 4.15pm Respect@Work: Update and consideration of the AHRC’s new inquiry and enforcement powers

In recent times we have seen significant legislative change in the area of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Employers now have a positive duty to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, the Fair Work Commission has expanded powers to deal with sexual harassment disputes in the workplace, the Australian Human Rights Commission Amendment (Costs Protection) Bill has recently been introduced into Parliament which, if passed, will permit the awarding of costs in AHRC matters only where proceedings are initiated vexatiously or without reasonable cause, and from 12 December 2023, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) will have new powers to investigate and enforce compliance with the positive duty in the Sex Discrimination Act 1985 (Cth) (SDA).

Importantly, the legal industry is one of the industries that new Sex Discrimination Commissioner Anna Cody (who is a lawyer herself) has warned she will be looking into when the AHRC’s powers come into force in December.

This session will discuss the impact of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination in the legal profession and look at what law firms need to be doing to comply with the new positive duty in the SDA. We will also include a discussion of any action taken by the AHRC against employers using its new enforcement powers (if there are any developments in this area by the time of this seminar).

To the extent that there are published decisions available, this session will also consider any recent FWC cases dealing with sexual harassment disputes in the expanded jurisdiction.
Presented by Emily Slaytor, Special Counsel, Piper Alderman; Rising Star Employment & WHS, Doyle’s Guide 2022


Emily Slaytor, Special Counsel, Piper Alderman
Emily joined Piper Alderman as a Special Counsel in 2021, after having relocated to Adelaide from Sydney where she worked for a specialist employment law firm.She has around 10 years’ experience practicing as an employment and industrial relations lawyer, assisting and advising employers on how to manage their legal obligations and risks, and navigate employment-related issues.Emily has acted for a diverse range of employers across both the private and public sector, at a national level. She has conducted numerous investigations for clients in relation to bullying and harassment matters and internal employment disputes, and regularly assists clients in the areas of managing long and short term injured workers, difficult workers compensation claims, performance management and disciplinary issues, discrimination and harassment, as well as unfair dismissal and general protections claims.


Respect@Work: Update and Consideration of the AHRC’s New Inquiry and Enforcement Powers


Single Session
CPD Points 1
On Demand 20240623 20240319

On Demand