Workplace Law Summit

Explore the most significant issues, reforms and legislative developments in employment law for 2024. Hear from a leading panel of employment law specialists, as they scrutinise proposed future reforms and impacts of recent legislative changes. Get your annual update on general protections cases and a practical guide to general protections proceedings. Unpack how to deal with workplace risks, including psychosocial hazards and sexual harassment, protection of confidential information and restraint of trade. Plus, gain insights and valuable tips on how best to run a workplace investigation. 243V21

Wednesday, 20 March 2024
Session 1: Workplace Law Developments, Reforms, and General Protections

Chair: Lauren Townsend, Partner, Thomson Geer

11:15am to 12:15pm Update on General Protections Case Law and Trends

Discuss the HC Qantas Airways High Court Decision and other significant cases: Are they expanding the boundaries of general protections and how to strike a balance in employers meeting their obligations?

Presented by Brendan Avallone, Barrister, List G Barristers; Preeminent Employment Law Junior Counsel, Doyle’s Guide 2023

Session 2: Managing Risks in the Workforce

Chair: Amanda Junkeer, Partner, Gadens

9:00am to 10.00am Overview of Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 (Cth)

Presented by Steven Amendola, Partner, Kingston Reid; Preeminent Employment lawyer (Employer Representation) Doyle’s Guide 2023 and Katie Sweatman, Partner, Kingston Reid

10.00am to 11.00am Update on 2022 - 2023 Legislative Changes: A Review
  • Discussion of the impacts of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 on the Australian employment law landscape, including in the areas of enterprise bargaining, flexible work and fixed-term contract employment.
  • Update on implementation of the positive duty arising from Respect@Work legislative amendments.

Presented by Claire Brown, Principal Solicitor, KHQ

12:15pm to 1:15pm A Practical Guide to “General Protections” Proceedings in the Federal Court and Federal Circuit and Family Court

A practical guide on how to commence or defend a general protections proceeding and the main steps along the way, including:

  • Discovery
  • Affidavits: Practice of ‘Conversation Evidence’: Kanes Hire Pty Ltd v Anderson Aviation Australia Pty Ltd 
  • The hearing
  • Damages

Presented by Christopher McDermott, Barrister, Young’s List

2:00pm to 3:00pm Update on Laws Relating to Psychosocial Risks
  • The duty of care under occupational health and safety law in relation to psychosocial health
  • Limitations on workers compensation benefits for persons affected by psychological injuries
  • Claims for compensation under discrimination law and the Fair Work Act with respect to psychosocial injuries

Presented by Paul Ronfeldt, Partner, Thomson Geer

3:00pm to 4:00pm Restraint of Trade and Breach of Confidential Information
  • Best practice drafting and enforceability of restraint of trade clauses
  • Protecting confidential information
  • What to do if you suspect there has been a breach

Presented by William Marshall, Partner, Gadens

4:15pm to 5:15pm How Not to Conduct Workplace Investigations
  • There is a myriad of guidance circulating about what to do when conducting a workplace investigation, but just as important is what NOT to do
  • In this session we discuss some of the pitfalls that may arise when investigations are handled badly, and the ramifications they may have for employers and employees alike.

Presented by Michaela Moloney, Partner, K&L Gates; named as a Leading Female Lawyer in Australia by Australasian Lawyer's Elite Woman 2023, Recommended Employment Lawyer in Doyle’s Guide 2023.

Description

Attend and earn 7 CPD units in Substantive Law
This program is applicable to practitioners from all States & Territories

Opening Comments by the Chair
11:00am to 11.15am Morning Tea

Presenters


Michaela Moloney, Partner, K&L Gates
Michaela Moloney has over 20 years expertise acting in all aspects of employment, industrial and discrimination law matters. A key part of her practice includes providing litigation support for both public and private sector organisations. Michaela conducts workplace investigations and has also assisted a number of clients manage outsourced investigations. Michaela also provides advice in relation to performance management, disciplinary issues, managing ill and injured workers, enterprise bargaining and termination of employment. Michaela manages a large litigation practice and has developed significant expertise in quickly identify key legal issues in dispute, working with key stakeholders to determine an appropriate litigation strategy and where matters are unable to resolve, determining an approach to proceedings to ensure that they can be run in a cost effective manner and taking into account organisational objectives. Michaela has successfully defended a number of unfair dismissal, discrimination, general protections and breach of contract in the state courts and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and Federal Court of Australia. Michaela is highly regarded by clients for her ability to think outside the square taking a practical and proactive approach in seeking to achieve a favourable and early resolution of matters. In addition, Michaela is a mediator and is able to facilitate mediations in all areas of employment and industrial law including bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment.


Christopher McDermott, Barrister, Young’s List
Chris McDermott is a Barrister at the Victorian Bar, specialising in employment law, industrial law, anti-discrimination law, administrative law, workplace investigations, Royal Commissions, public inquiries and coronial inquests, disciplinary proceedings, class actions and major torts, and intentional torts and civil claims. He regularly advises and appears for Commonwealth and State Government departments and statutory agencies. He has extensive experience in governance as a board director of not-for-profit organisations, including in organisations specialising in public health, legal services and law reform, and social justice. He is currently the Deputy Chair of Mental Health Victoria Ltd, the Secretary of the Victorian Bar’s Indigenous Justice Committee, a member of the Industrial Bar Association Committee and a member of the Australian Bar Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.


Ms. Katie Sweatman, Partner, Kingston Reid
Katie Sweatman is a seasoned employment, industrial relations and discrimination lawyer who partners with businesses to identify, manage and resolve risk so that they can focus on what they do best. Katie’s clients value her no-nonsense approach to handling workplace and broader people matters, which, together with her track record for thinking outside the box, leads to innovative solutions to actual and potential problems. Katie adopts an insightful and nuanced approach to managing challenging employment situations, including the management of ill and injured employees, responding to large-scale underpayment issues, conducting workplace investigations and navigating complex bargaining and industrial disputes. As a consequence of working with a diverse range of clients, including major sporting organisations, higher education institutions, State and Federal Government, hospitals and large corporates, Katie brings a wealth of experience to her day-to-day advice, development and delivery of effective training packages, and representation in the Fair Work Commission, Victorian and Australian human rights commissions, VCAT and the courts. She is recognized as a Recommended Leading Employment Lawyer in Doyle’s Guide – 2024, 2023, 2022 and 2021.


Mr. Brendan Avallone, Barrister, Foley's List
Brendan Avallone practises in all areas of employment and industrial relations law. He signed the Bar Roll on 22 October 2015, was admitted as a lawyer on 2 April 2001, and has appeared in a number of significant cases in the Federal Court of Australia, other Courts, and the Fair Work Commission. Brendan acts and advises in matters including industrial action, enterprise bargaining, industrial disputes, contractual disputes, executive employment, disciplinary and performance matters, general protections claims, unfair dismissal applications, underpayment claims and employment discrimination claims. Brendan's practice has been ranked in peer review journals including: Doyle's Guide 2023 Leading Employment Law Junior Counsel – Australia (Preeminent) (listed since 2018) and Victoria (Preeminent) (listed since 2017); The Best Lawyers in Australia 2024 (Labour and Employment Law) (since 2018); Lawyer of the Year: Labour and Employment Law, Melbourne, 2023 - The Best Lawyers in Australia; Chambers and Partners 2024 (Employment: The Bar – Australia, Band 3) (since 2021); Legal 500 Asia Pacific – Commercial Disputes (Leading Junior Counsel) (since 2023); Doyle's Guide 2023 Workplace Health & Safety -Victoria (Recommended) (since 2017).


Claire Brown, Principal Solicitor, KHQ
Claire is a Principal Solicitor in our Workplace Relations & Safety team. Claire joined KHQ in 2014 with over fourteen years’ experience in operational workplace relations and HR across a wide range of industries, including transport and logistics, mining and resources, emergency services, health and education. Claire provides advice across the full range of industrial and employment matters, including enterprise bargaining strategy, industrial disputes, management of organisational change and employment litigation (including unfair dismissals, adverse action, bullying and discrimination matters). Further, Claire’s operational background means she can provide commercial and practical day to day assistance that is particularly valued by her workplace relations and HR practitioner clients. In doing so, she focuses on providing practitioners with specific procedural guidance, rather than convoluted and impenetrable ‘legalistic’ advice. Claire … attracts praise for her “invaluable experience and ability to quickly sort the wheat from the chaff” – Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019 Based in Melbourne, Claire regularly travels to Perth, Sydney and Brisbane to assist clients on the ground across a range of industries, including professional services, telecommunications, construction, resources, infrastructure and transport. Claire also regularly appears in the Fair Work Commission and State and Federal courts and delivers practical and engaging seminars on a range of workplace relations matters to clients nationally.


Steven Amendola, Partner, Kingston Reid
Steven is widely recognised as one Australia’s leading practitioners in industrial relations and litigation, and is particularly renowned for his strategic dispute resolution work. His aptitude in all aspects of employment law and ability to think strategically enables clients to avoid costly and lengthy disputes whilst effectively managing workplace incidents and investigations. Steven works with clients in a range of industries and sectors, including construction, financial services, government, manufacturing and retail. He has been involved in a number of high profile employment and industrial issues such as the national waterfront dispute, and test cases relating to right of entry, bargaining fees, and industrial action. His extensive experience and expertise provides clients with the ability to access a wealth of insight, knowledge and strategic guidance around enforcement provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009, key provisions dealing with collective agreement making, the freedom of association provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009, and various discrimination issues. Steven places a lot of emphasis on building strong relationships based on trust and respect with his clients, and greatly values the effective outcomes that are borne from those connections and bonds. He is steadfastly focused on understanding his clients’ businesses and operating platforms, and on connecting the right people with the right information to achieve the best outcomes. Client quote from the Chambers Asia Pacific Guide – “He’s a very effective communicator and he gives very commercial advice”, adding: “He’s got a very direct approach which we really appreciate.” And “His knowledge is forensic and he’s commercially astute. He’s solution-focused and pragmatic while being extremely personable.” He is recognised in Chambers Asia-Pacific for Employment – 2023 and as a Leading Individual and listed in the Hall of Fame in Legal 500 in Labour & Employment – 2024. He is also recognized as a Preeminent Lawyer in Doyle’s Guide for Employment – 2024 as well as recognised annually in Best Lawyers for Labour & Employment since 2013.


Paul Ronfeldt, Partner, Thomson Geer
Paul Ronfeldt is a partner of Thomson Geer. He has practiced in employment and safety law for over 25 years. His practice includes advising employers throughout Australia on their compliance with occupational health and safety laws, including in relation to their responses to serious incidents, SafeWork investigations and defending prosecutions. Prior to becoming a legal practitioner, he lectured in the areas of employment law, industrial law and safety law at the University of New South Wales, The University of Sydney and Griffith University. He has also been engaged by State and federal governments, employer peak bodies and trade unions on a number of occasions to advise on occupational health and safety policy matters, particularly in the mining, building and construction sectors.


Mr. William Marshall, Partner, Gadens
William is a Partner in the Workplace Advisory and Disputes team at Gadens. He has significant experience advising clients on employment law, employment litigation and industrial relations issues. William works closely with HR, WHS specialists and industrial relations advisors across all industries and sectors, delivering timely and practical advice to his clients. He has a deep understanding of the need to deliver clear, practical and commercial solutions to the often-complex legal issues in these areas of the law. William’s employment litigation experience includes assisting a range of publicly listed and large privately owned businesses. He assists businesses in relation to a raft of industrial relations, litigation and general employment and safety issues. William was nominated and recognised as a Best Lawyer in the area of Labour and Employment Law in the 2023 and 2024 editions of the Best Lawyers in Australia.

243V21

Workplace Law Summit

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All Sessions
Wednesday, 20 March 2024
9:00am to 5:15pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 7
$795.00
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Morning Session
Wednesday, 20 March 2024
9:00am to 12:20pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 4
$505.00
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Afternoon Session
Wednesday, 20 March 2024
2:00pm to 5:15pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 3
$420.00
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Venue
InterContinental Melbourne

495 Collins Street, Melbourne 

Directions

Nearest Public Transport:

  • By train: Southern Cross Station (5-minute walk)
  • By subway: Southern Cross Station (5-minute walk)
  • By Tram: Trams on routes 12, 109, 11 and 48 all pass the hotel along Collins Street, get off at the William Street stop (3-minute walk). The hotel is located within the free tram zone which means travel within the CBD on the tram is free.
Parking Information

Valet Parking is only available for Resident Guests.

Nearby Parking: 
Wilson Parking - View locations and rates here