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Workplace Relations Conference

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Workplace Relations Conference

Date & TimeTBC
Format Conference





CPD Units 6
  • Ethics & Professional Responsibility
  • Professional Skills
  • Practice Management & Business Skills
  • Substantive Law
Venue RACV City Club, 501 Bourke St, Melbourne View Map

(Registrations from 8.30am)

Join us at the 2018 Workplace Relations Conference. Our keynote panellists include esteemed presenters, Fair Work Commission president Justice Ross AO, barrister Ingmar Taylor SC, and moderator K&L Gates partner Steven Amendola.

Register now for the latest developments in employment law and workplace relations law.

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Program Overview

  • Workplace Relations Conference - Friday 26 Oct
    • 8:30 AM Registration Begins
    • 8:50 AM Conference Opening & Welcome
    • 9:00 AM Obtaining permission to appear before the Fair Work Commission

      In this practical and interactive session, Fair Work Commission President Justice Iain Ross will join a panel of leading practitioners to discuss the processes for legal representation in proceedings before the Commission.

      This session will provide an update on the jurisprudence relating to permission to appear before the Commission. This is followed by an interactive panel discussion canvassing perspectives from employer and employee representatives with guidance from Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross.


      • Justice Ross AO, President,  
      • Ingmar Taylor SC, Barrister
      • Steven Amendola, Partner, K & L Gates
    • 10:15 AM Morning Tea
    • 10:30 AM Insights into the Registered Organisations Commission

      As the independent regulator of federal unions and employer associations, the recently established Registered Organisations Commission (ROC) plays a key role in the compliance of these organisations, conducting inquiries and investigations.

      In this practical session Patrick Coyle, Principal Litigation Lawyer, Registered Organisations Commissioner provides insights into the workings of the commission.

      Topics include:

      • Recent decisions and developments
      • Available penalties and the ROC’s approaches to their imposition
      • Understanding the ROC’s investigation and enforcement powers

      Presenter: Patrick Coyle, Principal Litigation Lawyer, Registered Organisations Commissioner

    • 11:30 AM Workplace sexual harassment in the #metoo age

      Sexual harassment in the workplace is in the headlines. A global conversation has been opened with the #metoo campaign, encouraging private individuals to speak up about instances of sexual harassment in the work environment.

      Topics include:

      • The current landscape of protections against workplace harassment – are they fit for purpose and what does the ideal look like? 
      • The recent announcement regarding the National Inquiry into Workplace Sexual Harassment
      • Recognising the warning signs and undertaking early intervention to avoid future claims - lessons from the #metoo movement
      • Dealing with historical claims of harassment


      • Sarah Rey, Principal, Justitia
      • Beth Gaze, University of Melbourne
    • 12:30 PM Lunch
    • 1:30 PM Working out the gig economy

      The shift to the so-called “gig economy” has taken on a new momentum with the rise of intermediaries such as Airtasker, Upwork and

      As this new economy collides with traditional models of employment and industrial relations, understanding the latest case law and industry developments in this area is key to helping your clients stay compliant.

      Topics include:

      • Understanding the potential implications of Fair Work Ombudsman v Foodora Australia Pty Ltd
      • The considerations, issues and legal tests involved with the characterisation of workers as employees or independent contractors and recent Fair Work Commission decisions, including the recent Uber decision.
      • Practical tips on getting the engagement right for gig workers
      • Trade secrets and confidential information in the gig economy – understanding and navigating the risks


      • Janine Webster, Chief Counsel, Fair Work Ombudsman
      • Josh Bornstein, National Head of Employment Law, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers


    • 2:30 PM Skilling up: Key techniques for successful conciliations and negotiations

      Your ability to negotiate and persuasively advocate for your client’s interests is an important skill as an employment lawyer. Utilising strategic negotiation and communication techniques can help you gain a distinct advantage in your practice.

      Topics include:

      • Identifying power imbalances in negotiations and techniques to make the most of your client’s position
      • Strategies for generating options for resolution and successfully navigating through impasse situations
      • Dealing with unrepresented litigants


        • Rupert Burns, Deputy District Registrar, Federal Court of Australia
        • Dr Rebecca Wilson (nee French)
          Senior Member VCAT, Principal, French DR


    • 3:30 PM Afternoon Tea
    • 3:45 PM Ethics at work: Interactive panel discussion

      Join this interactive panel as they discuss the challenging ethical issues faced by employment lawyers.

      Moderated by a senior ethics solicitor from the LIV, our highly experienced panellists will share real ethical issues they’ve encountered in the practice of employment law and workplace relations and how they have resolved them. The panel will focus on how they balance their paramount duty to the court and the administration of justice with their duty to advocate fearlessly for their client.


      • Mette Aiken-Petersen, Manager, LIV Ethics & Professional Practice Department
      • Carol Andrades, Consultant, Gordon Legal
      • Chris Gianatti, Director, Kelly Hazell Quill
    • 4:45 PM Conference close & LIV Workplace Relations Section Annual General Meeting
    • 5:00 PM Networking drinks

Further Details

  • Full Description

    Join us at this year’s annual Workplace Relations Conference. Our panellists for the opening keynote discussion include esteemed presenters, Justice Ross AO, Fair Work Commission President, Ingmar Taylor SC, Barrister and Steven Amendola Partner, K&L Gates (moderator).

    The changing landscape of the Australian workplace driven by our new ‘gig economy’ is fully explored during this day of interactive, practical and skills-based learning. Our high-profile presenters share insights on key techniques for conciliations and negotiations, prevention and investigations in workplace harassment in the #metoo age.

    Register now for the latest developments in employment law and workplace relations law.

  • Presenters

    Steven Amendola, Partner, K & L Gates

    Justice Ross AO, President, Fair Work Commission

    Ingmar Taylor SC, Barrister

    Sarah Rey, Principal, Justitia

    Beth Gaze, University of Melbourne

    Janine Webster, Chief Counsel, Fair Work Ombudsman

    Professor Andrew Stewart, Consultant, Piper Alderman

    Tess Hardy, Centre for Employment & Labour Law, University of Melbourne

    Mette Aiken-Petersen, Manager, LIV Ethics & Professional Practice Department


  • Learning Outcomes

    By attending this conference, you will:

    • Gain a greater understanding on obtaining permission to appear in Fair Work Commission matters
    • Receive insights into the operations of the Registered Organisations Commission
    • Investigate key developments relating to workplace sexual harassment and the gig economy
    • Develop your negotiation and conciliation skills to better advocate for your client’s interests