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Conference Agenda

Pages from HR Law AU Masterclass Brochure






Chairperson Welcome Address

  • Employment Law Major Updates including Federal Budget: What it means for business, Funds & Superannuation, Fair Work Act revisions, Right to Disconnect, labour hire arrangement orders, Casual employee/ employee choice

Sydney: Erin Lynch, Partner, Gadens

Brisbane: Meghan De Pinto-Smith, Senior Associate, McKays Solicitors

Melbourne: David Dilger, Director, Edge Legal

Perth: Kate Walawski, Barrister 


Balancing Business, Productivity and the Future of Work

  • ​Could WFH become a legal right? What if a role cannot be fulfilled with WFH arrangement?

  • Reasonable grounds to reject a flexibility request

  • Can you offer workplace perks such as more leave to get employees back on site

  • Potential Reforms to post-employment restraints

Sydney: Emily Strachan, Special Counsel, Kingston Reid

Brisbane: Sophie Baartz, Senior Associate, Kingston Reid

Melbourne: Brad Popple, Special Counsel, Kingston Reid

Perth: Beth Robinson, Partner, Kingston Reid


Respond to the Employment Relationship Reform

  • Understanding the Implications of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing
    Loopholes No. 2) Act 2024

  • Revised Definitions: Explanation of new interpretive principle for determining "employee" and "employer" status and a casual employee

  • Overview of opting out for individuals earning above the contractor high income threshold

  • Right to Disconnect - developments and challenges

  • Preparing for the changes, including contract amendments

Sydney: Kathy Srdanovic, Partner, Ashurst

Brisbane: Patrick Lawler, Senior Associate, Ashurst

Melbourne: Emilie Maddox, Counsel, Ashurst

Perth: Melanie Taylor, Counsel, Ashurst

10:35 Morning Tea and Networking Activity


Data Breaches: Preparing for a Mandatory Notification Scheme

  • Preparation and management of data breaches

  • Updates on privacy, data protection and cyber security

  • Review of recent notable data breaches and lessons learned

Brisbane: Michael Morris, Partner, Gadens

But This Is Medicine! Navigating the complexities of medicinal cannabis in the workplace 

  • My employee is taking medicinal cannabis: what can I do? 

  • Is the use of medicinal cannabis a complete defence to a workers’ compensation claim? 

  • Disclosure obligations 

  • Anti-discrimination considerations 

  • Considerations and risks associated with dismissal 

  • Recommendations for drafting an appropriate policy to mitigate against risk and exposure 

Sydney: Incoming 

Melbourne: Incoming

Perth: Kate Walawski, Barrister


Addressing Toxic Behaviours in the Workplace, Psychosocial Hazards, Psychological Risks

  • Overview of legal requirements and employer obligations pertaining to safeguarding psychological health in the workplace

  • Identification of HR and business practices that contribute to psychosocial hazards

       and psychological risks

  • Distinguishing between toxic workplace cultures, difficult employees & toxic behaviours

Sydney: Elizabeth Radley, Partner, Moray & Agnew

Brisbane: Louise Hogg, Partner, Moray & Agnew

Melbourne: Madelaine August, Partner, Moray & Agnew

Perth: Brian Jackson, Special Counsel, Moray & Agnew 

12:25 Lunch


INTERACTIVE SCENARIO BASED DISCUSSION: Navigating a Workplace Investigation

During this session you will work through a hypothetical scenario where a conflict or allegation has been raised in the workplace. This session is designed to equip you with the essential tools to conduct thorough, impartial, and just investigations. Through interactive engagement, you'll learn step-by-step approaches to ensure accuracy, fairness, and objectivity in your investigative processes.

Sydney: Mitch Robertson, Special Counsel, DLA Piper

Brisbane: Mitch Robertson, Special Counsel, DLA Piper

Melbourne: Rick Catanzariti, Partner, DLA Piper

Perth: Joanne Leveridge, Special Counsel, DLA Piper


Engaging in Negotiations and Documenting Settlements

  • Explore techniques for productive negotiations in employment disputes, focusing on achieving mutually beneficial outcomes

  • Discuss various forms of compensation in settlements, including financial and nonfinancial considerations, ensuring fairness and equity

  • Learn essential tips for documenting settlement agreements accurately & comprehensively to protect the interests of both parties

  • Gain practical insights from recent case studies enhancing negotiation skills and
    proficiency in settlement documentation

Sydney: Ben Motro, Partner, Piper Alderman

Brisbane: Tim Capelin, Partner, Piper Alderman

Melbourne: George Haros, Partner, Gadens

Perth: Jo Alilovic, Director, 3D HR Legal; Cara Leavesley, Special Counsel, 3D HR Legal

2:40 Afternoon Tea


Panel: Promoting Equal Employment Opportunity in Australia

  • Definition and significance of EEO

  • Prohibition of discrimination

  • State responses to anti-discrimination laws

  • Responding to a discrimination claim



Roundtable discussion to work through and resolve a common, yet complex
HR issue whilst increasing awareness of relevant employment laws and policies.

Possible areas of discussion:

  • Strategies for Driving Progress on Gender Equality

  • Awards and Enterprise Bargaining Agreements

  • Inclusive recruitment and flexibility during the interview and hiring process

  • Contract management: When contracts go wrong

  • Determining what constitutes as working ‘reasonable’ and ‘unreasonable’
    additional hours

Sydney:  Kaushalya Mataraaratchi, Special Counsel, Gilbert & Tobin
                 Cynthia Elachi,
Special Counsel, Clayton Utz
                 Jessica Geelan, 
Senior Associate, MinterEllison

                 Megan Cant, Special Counsel, Holding Redlich

Brisbane:  Andrew Cardell-Ree, Partner, Thomson Geer
                   Laura Hillman,
Special Counsel, Clayton Utz
  Senior Associate, MinterEllison

Melbourne:  Claire Brown, Principal Solicitor, KHQ Lawyers
                       Stephen Silvapulle,
Special Counsel, Clayton Utz

                       David Woodman, Partner, MinterEllison

Perth:  Jo Alilovic, Director, 3D HR Legal
             Giacomo Giorgi,
Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
             Gemma Wheeler-Carver,
Senior Associate, Kennedy Vinciullo

             Briony Pole, Partner, MinterEllison

4:30 Chairperson’s Key Takeaways and Closing Address

4:40 End of Conference

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