WHS Law Melbourne agenda

Workplace Health & Safety Law Agenda

Melbourne – Tuesday,  21 November 2017 


08.30 Registration
09.00 Opening remarks from the chair

Update on legal developments in WHS – what it means for employers?

  • Update on harmonisation of WHS laws
• Comments about recent WHS cases and trends
• Looking at recent prosecutions of officers and workers
• Tips on what the future may hold for WHS

Karl Blake, Partner, Minter Ellison


Effective contractor management

  • How should you engage, supervise and manage contractors
  • What happens if your contractor has an incident- what is your liability?
  • How are regulators and courts treating incidents involving contractors
  • Practical steps for managing safety with contractors

Sam Jackson, Senior Associate, Sparke Helmore

10.40 Morning Tea

Incident reporting, incident investigation and incident response

  • Reporting systems and culture
  • Planning incident responses  
  • Investigating incidents, selecting a methodology and confidentiality
  • Managing external investigations

Marie Costa, Special Counsel, Corrs Chambers Westgarth


Managing the risks of workplace bullying and harassment

  • Exploring cases of different forms of bullying and unreasonable behaviour
  • Preventing and responding to workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination incidents
  • Applying effective conflict management strategies

Catherine Gillespie, Director, Workplace Conflict Resolution

12.40 Lunch

When performance and mental health collide; Understanding the complex world of workplace law, people management and mental health

  • What are the laws that impact upon managing performance where mental health issues are raised?
  • What do you do when an employee exhibits or raises mental health issues?
  • What happens when an employee complains they are not able to participate in a performance process as a result of mental health issues?
  • When can an employer proceed to terminate the employment of an employee with mental health issues and how should it be done?

Andrew Douglas, National Head of Workplace Relations, Macpherson Kelley


Holding senior executives and the board accountable to WHS responsibilities

  • Understanding WHS duties for officers
  • Getting buy-in from leadership to fulfill their WHS obligations
  • Discussing the changing nature of WHS prosecution and penalties
  • Exploring recent cases of sentencing related to WHS

Steve Bell, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills


Afternoon Tea


Building return to work programs and managing injured employees

  • Exploring legal obligations for managing injured employees
  • Facilitating return to work process
  • Ensuring employees’ fitness for duty and making reasonable adjustment to employee’s duties
  • Discussing cases when you can lawfully terminate injured employees

David Hartnett, Special Counsel, K&L Gates


Employers’ duty of care – evaluating employees’ fitness for duty

  • Identifying health or safety hazards that may cause employees’ unfitness for work
  • Discussing procedures and actions on evaluating employees’ fitness for duty
  • Early intervention on fitness for work
  • Dealing with inappropriate use of drugs and alcohol
  • Managing employees who are unfit for work in a fair manner

Martin Reid, Head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Coulter Roache Lawyers

 17.00 End of conference