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Industrial Relations and Workplace Reforms - Conference & Workshop

The conference and workshop will explore the implications of the reforms which organisations have had to grapple with during the last twelve months and also contemplate the third tranche of changes to the Fair Work legislation.


DAY 1 - Conference

Industrial Relations and Workplace Reforms: Ensuring success in transformative times.

Thursday, 15th February 2024

Perth & Online

The passing of two key Federal workplace bills in November 2022 heralded the start of major industrial relations and workplace reforms in Australia.  The last 12 months have witnessed unprecedent and dynamic changes to the employment law landscape, not seen since the inception of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).  With further reforms on the horizon, it is necessary for organisations to reflect on how they have navigated the challenges and opportunities of the new regulatory environment and what do they still need to do to proactively address the reforms.

This conference will examine the emergence of a raft of codes, regulations and other legislative and guidance material regarding psychological health and safety and the implications of the much anticipated report by the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disabilities.

Who Should Attend
- HR professionals
- IR practitioners
- Employment lawyers and in-house counsel
- Employee and workplace relations professionals


DAY 2 - Workshop

It Pays to Get it Right! Best Practices and Legal Compliance when Managing Terminations

Friday, 16th February 2024


We are excited to invite you to our exclusive workshop “It Pays to Get It Right! Best Practices and Legal Compliance when Managing Terminations". This workshop has been meticulously designed by Kate Walawski to equip attendees with the practical tools and insights needed to navigate the intricacies of each different termination process while safeguarding organizations from potential legal challenges. It essentially unpacks the different processes that should be employed when terminating employees, depending on the circumstances – whether it’s redundancy,managing an ill and injured employee or involuntary termination for poor performance or misconduct.

Who Should Attend
- HR professionals
- IR practitioners
- Employment lawyers and in-house counsel
- Employee and workplace relations professionals

For event enquiries, please email


Day 1 - Conference agenda

Welcome Address by the Chair

Kate Walawski, Barrister

9 AM
The Status of Industrial Relations in 2023 and Beyond

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Act 2022 (Cth) (Amendment Act) was passed by the Commonwealth Parliament on 2 December and received Royal Assent on 6 December 2022.

The Amendment Act introduced major changes to the FW Act and other laws. Many changes took effect from 7 December 2022, while others have taken effect throughout 2023.

This seminar will explore common workplace issues that employers have grappled with and continue to grapple with in 2023 as a consequence of the reforms and what employers can do to minimise risk and exposure.

Shannon Walker, Special Counsel, Kingston Reid

Interactive Round Table Discussions

Participants will have an opportunity to discuss 2 of the major changes as a result of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Protecting Worker Entitlements) Act 2023 (Cth) which was passed through Parliament on 22 June 2023.
- Parental Leave: what has changed and what do these changes mean?
- Enterprise Bargaining Updates

Further, participants will have an opportunity to discuss the practical implications of the changes to modern awards regarding shut downs and leave entitlements and how to manage same.

- Managing shutdowns, leave entitlements, overtime and TOIL.

Patrick Williams, Senior Associate, Clayton Utz
David Scaife MLA, Member for Cockburn
Giacomo Giorgi, Partner, Corrs

Panel Session: Further Reforms: What does the future industrial and employment law landscape look like?

The Government is planning further reforms to the Fair Work laws in late 2023 and 2024 and has been engaging in public consultation in relation to a number of proposals, including the much-campaigned Same Job, Same Pay and the recently announced Closing Loopholes

The panel, consisting of 3 emerging thought leaders will be interviewed by Chair, Kate Walawski to provide commentary on anticipated reforms and what businesses can and should do in preparation for same.

Patrick Williams, Senior Associate, Clayton Utz,
David Scaife MLA, Member for Cockburn
Giacomo Giorgi, Partner Corrs

Morning tea

Strategic and Operational Implications of the Respect@Work Reforms
The seminar will explore the increased exposure and extended obligations that arise under the new legislative measures to address and eliminate sex discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.

The seminar will focus on the following:

- an examination of the key changes arising from the Respect@Work Act and the consequential amendments and intersection with the Fair Work Act and the Sex Discrimination Act;
- what does the new positive duty look like in practice and what is the increased liability for failure to take positive action;
- changes to the powers and functions of the Australian Human Rights Commission and what they mean for employers;
- what is now required of employers to ensure compliance with the new legislative requirements; and
- what measures should employers be looking to implement in order to minimise risk and exposure.

Kate Walawski, Barrister

The Emergence of Psychological Health and Safety as a New Workplace Risk
Interview with two thought leaders regarding the emerging cases and what businesses should be doing to manage risk and exposure.

The questions will explore:

- the regulatory position on psychosocial hazards and the likely impact of the changes;
- addressing duty of care obligations and psychosocial hazards for a remote, hybrid and flexible workplace;
- identifying workforce issues leading to employee fatigue and burnout; and
- how employers can take proactive steps to embed psychosocial safety in their organisation.

Jo Alilovic, Director and Founder, 3D HR Legal
Cara Leavesley, Special Counsel, 3D HR Legal

Networking Lunch

Risks in the Era of ChatGPT and AI

The use of AI platforms and ChatGPT presents significant risks and challenges for employers, including security and data leakage, confidentiality and liability concerns, intellectual property complexities, privacy issues as well as compliance with international laws. As an internationally renowned tactical cyber security and intelligence officer, Dr Jreige will explore these risks and share examples that illustrate how these risks could manifest in your everyday enterprise activities and what can be done to minimise risk and exposure.

Dr Thomas Jreige, Head of Cyber DC Two Limited

Reform of the ESOP regime for private companies
Employee incentive schemes, including employee share option plans (ESOPs), are frequently utilised to drive growth in start-ups, scale-ups and in established businesses, by rewarding and incentivising employees. With effect from 1 October 2022, the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) was amended to create a new compliance and disclosure regime for employee incentive schemes. The new regime is aimed at reducing red tape and making it easier for private companies to comply with regulatory requirements (and access regulatory relief), but challenges still remain.

This seminar will:

- provide a legal overview of the new regulatory regime;
- explain how the new regulatory regime applies to ESOPs offered by private companies; and
- provide practical tips in navigating the new regulatory regime.

Stephanie Rowland, Partner, Allion

Afternoon tea

The Implications of the 2023 Disability Royal Commission Report
The Disability Royal Commission Report was tabled in parliament on 29 September 2023 following its delivery to the Governor General. With 12 volumes and 222 recommendations, the Report details the findings of Australia’s largest-ever investigation into the experiences of Australians with a disability. Professor Croucher AM will speak to the implications of the Report for employers regarding wage theft, discrimination and harassment, flexible work arrangements and reasonable adjustments.

Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, Acting Discrimination Commissioner, President Australian Human Rights Commission

Close by Chair


Day 2 - Workshop agenda

8 AM
Registration and Welcome Tea / Coffee

Welcome from Chair

Morning Tea

11 AM
Session 2

Networking Lunch

1 PM
Session 3

Afternoon Tea

Session 4

Close of Workshop

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