Q&As

'Sexual harassment in the workplace: courts increasingly prepared to award significant damages'

Monday October 13, 2014

Two recent Federal Court decisions show that the courts are taking sexual harassment claims seriously, recognising the significant impact on victims and taking a broad view of what constitutes the "workplace". The courts are recognising that damages awarded for sexual harassment have not increased over the past 15 years although community standards on this issue have shifted. As a result, they are increasingly prepared to award considerable sums as damages. Employers must take steps to minimise the risks and exposure arising from sexual harassment claims including conducting regular staff training on sexual harassment and ensuring policies are up to date. In addition, allegations must be taken seriously and an effective investigation must be conducted when complaints are lodged.
Tags :
'Liquidator removed following ASIC appeal due to perceived lack of independence'

Monday October 13, 2014

In the case Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Franklin (liquidator), in the matter of Walton Constructions Pty Ltd [2014] FCAFC 85, the Federal Court on appeal by ASIC removed the liquidators because of perceptions of lack of independence and impartiality. The judgment highlighted a test for independence, in particular, how a "double might" test is crucial in determining liquidator's independence. The emphasis placed by the court on the "double might" test and the fair-minded observer highlight the need for a potential appointee to consider carefully whether or not a fair-minded observer might reasonably apprehend that the practitioner might not be impartial in considering the issues the practitioner is required to investigate. The judgment significantly highlights the risks faced by appointees who work closely with consultants who undertake restructuring or "pre-packs" shortly before the proposed appointment.
'Avoiding costly pitfalls when ending a business relationship'

Monday October 13, 2014

Setting out business relationships in a written contract, which clearly articulates the circumstances in which the business relationship can end, is the best way to ensure that everyone is aware of their rights and to minimise uncertainty. While a business contract can be in writing, oral, by conduct or a combination of the three, the benefit of a written contract is that it will ordinarily set out all of the parties' rights and obligations. An oral contract or contract by conduct will rarely contemplate all aspects of the business relationship. This means that businesses without a written contract are often unsure of the circumstances in which they can bring the contract to an end and the process for doing so, and can lead to a business being threatened with claims that it has acted unlawfully.
'Changes to privacy laws - what do they mean for local governments?'

Monday October 13, 2014

Recent changes to national privacy laws imposed new requirements on the collection and management of personal information in Australia. Although these laws do not directly apply to councils, they do apply to most of the businesses that councils deal with on a day-to-day basis. The privacy policies of Australian businesses now commonly include a commitment to ensuring that third-party recipients of personal information from the business handle that information in accordance with the privacy laws. This means that, at a practical level, local governments may face increasing pressure from their suppliers and contractors to demonstrate compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles.
'Governance of public entities - new legislation sets agenda for reform'

Monday October 13, 2014

The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA) aims to empower the Commonwealth and its agencies to manage resources, risk and performance while imposing more consistent obligations on Commonwealth agencies and promoting cooperation to achieve common, whole of government objectives. The PGPA Act reflects the feedback received by the Commonwealth from various stakeholders, including the public service, private sector and academia to the effect that the Commonwealth should grasp the opportunity to enhance the public sector's potential for innovation. It remains to be seen whether the PGPA Act and the rules to be promulgated under it have achieved the balance between guidance and flexibility so as to drive cultural change successfully towards innovation and productivity.
Subscribe

"Excellent choice and variety of relevant topics and good group of presenters."

Delegate - Criminal Law Conference, Melbourne, March 2017

 

 

 

 

 

, 3rd Annual Wine Law Update

Read more testimonials