Employer obligations: Covid vaccine mandates (recording)

A free recorded webinar for members of the Law Society

What are the legal obligations and responsibilities for employers as their staff return to work?

As lockdown restrictions ease in the ACT and the workforce returns to the office, the issue of workplace vaccination mandates is of critical concern. The Law Society's Industrial Relations Committee presents this very topical webinar, featuring an expert panel facilitated by Committee Chair John Wilson of BAL Lawyers. Panellists will address key issues such as:

  • What duties and obligations do employers have to protect their employees (and patrons) from risk when attending the office, including the risk of contracting Covid?
  • Can employers mandate workplace vaccinations? If so, can employers request immunisation records if no current organisational settings exist?
  • Under what conditions could non-vaccinated employees continue to work? 
  • Is there liability for an employer if a vaccinated employee contracts Covid from a non-vaccinated employee, or vice versa?
  • If a business required staff to confirm their vaccination status, in the event of a positive case in the workplace, could that mean that you could exclude your non-vaccinated staff from the workplace for a period to protect them while vaccinated staff could continue to attend? Would that be reasonable under current workplace law, or would additional protections be needed for employers to take such steps? 
  • Are we likely to see insurers getting involved in workplace vaccination mandates?
  • What will future workplaces look like while 'learning to live with' Covid?

With so many questions to consider around the legality of workplace mandates and the health of the returning workforce, this is a webinar not to be missed.

Our expert panel comprises the following speakers:

  • John Wilson, Legal Director - Employment Law & Investigations, BAL Lawyers (faciliator)
  • Peter Strong, former CEO of the Council of Small Business of Australia
  • Dr Daniel Suan, Research Officer - Immunogenomics Lab, Garvan Institute of Medical Research
  • Karen Toohey, ACT Discrimination, Health Services & Disability and Community Services Commissioner
  • Katie Weir, Barrister, Key Chambers 

Details

  • When: This is an on-demand webinar you can watch at anytime - a link and password will be sent to you when you register
  • Members will earn 1 CPD unit in core area 4 (substantive law)
  • Cost (incl GST): Complimentary for members, $40 non-members
  • This webinar was recorded on Wednesday 3 November 2021. It will expire on 28 February 2022

Event registration terms and conditions

In these circumstances, please advise us by email prior to the event start time and we will issue you a full refund. 

Contact Liz Francis on liz.francis@actlawsociety.asn.au.

Fees are payable upon registration. 30 days payment invoices are available to members at the discretion of the Law Society. A 1.2% surcharge may be incurred on payments processed via credit/debit card. The Society reserves the right to cancel or alter events at its discretion, and in such circumstances, attendees will be notified via email. 

Definitions — 'Registration' means any booking given to the Society in writing, on our website, or by phone. 'Member' means any member of the ACT Law Society, including associate members and honorary members. 'Young Lawyer' means any member who has held a practising certificate for five years or less. 'CLC' means any member working for a recognised community legal centre, or holding a volunteer practising certificate. 'Student' means any member holding a student membership.

All cancellations must be made in writing, and all cancellations will incur a fee, however, no charge will be incurred for substituting another person. Outside of the cancellation periods given below, a $10 administration fee will be incurred for any cancellation made. If a registered attendee fails to attend without notifying the Society in writing, no credit or refund will be offered and 100% of the total cost will be retained by the Society. 

CPD Events — In the case of CPD events held at an venue other than the Law Society, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event. In the case of CPD events held at the Law Society, for cancellations made within two working days of the event, 50% of the total cost will be retained by the Society as a cancellation fee and the balance may be used as a credit towards other CPD events or be refunded. If you choose to keep a credit it will remain valid for 12 months from the event date, after which time it will expire. 

Webinars — In the case of live or on-demand webinars, as connection details are sent when registration is completed, no refund or cancellation is available. 

Social events — In the case of social events, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event.

The Law Society is enforcing covid-safe measures as set out by ACT Health at all our face-to-face events. 

If you have been to an active Covid-19 hotspot as listed by the ACT Government, are a close contact of an active case, or feel unwell in the lead up to the event, we kindly ask you not to attend. 

In these circumstances, please advise us by email prior to the event and we will issue you a full refund. 

 

 

Registration

Member Free Register
Non-Member $40.00(GST incl.) Register

Schedule

Speakers

John Wilson, Legal Director - Employment Law & Investigations, BAL Lawyers (Faciliator)

John Wilson is a leading Canberra-based employment lawyer. He was accredited as a specialist in Industrial Relations and Employment Law by the NSW Law Society in 2001, has been the chair of the ACT Law Society’s industrial relations committee since 2001 and, since 2017, a member of the NSW Specialist Accreditation Employment and Industrial Law Advisory Committee. John has been continuously recognised in the “Best Lawyers in Canberra” list for Labour and Employment Law and Occupational Health and Safety Law since its inception in 2013.  He has acted in numerous precedent-setting cases, regularly advising individuals, local businesses and international companies in high-profile disputes.  Such is John’s recognition as the expert’s expert that many of his clients are referred by other lawyers. John is a thought leader in the workplace relations space. He is a prolific author, writing for The Canberra TimesThe MandarinEthos: Journal of the ACT Law Society, the NSW Law Society JournalHR Monthly and the Australian Financial Review alongside appearances on ABC Radio National and 3AW.  He formerly lectured on employment law at the University of Canberra. John joined BAL lawyers as a partner in 2004, and has been its Managing Legal Director since 2009.  He was previously the founder and principal lawyer of a workplace relations consultancy firm, and before that led the employment practice group of a national law firm.

Dr Daniel Suan, Research Officer - Immunogenomics Lab, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Daniel grew up on the sunny West Coast in Perth where he studied medicine before moving to Sydney to train as an Immunologist and Immunopathologist at Westmead and St Vincent's hospitals. He then undertook his PhD studies with Professor Rob Brink at the Garvan Institute, investigating how the immune system makes antibodies and memory cells in response to vaccination. Dan has now returned to Westmead Hospital as a Staff Specialist, where he combines his clinical and laboratory interests with his research program studying the genomic basis of human autoimmune diseases. 

Karen Toohey, ACT Discrimination, Health Services & Disability and Community Services Commissioner

Karen has been the ACT Discrimination, Health Services and Disability & Community Services Commissioner since 2016.  After a career in marketing and IT in the private sector, Karen joined the Australian Human Rights Commission in 1995 and has since  worked in senior executive  roles in state and commonwealth human rights agencies since. Karen has  qualifications in law, marketing and computing science and is a well known advocate on issues of human rights and discrimination law.

Katie Weir, Barrister, Key Chambers 

Katie joined the ACT Bar in 2021, and practises predominantly in workplace law, discrimination, industrial relations, and commercial disputes. Before coming to the Bar, Katie practised as a solicitor for more than 10 years, in Canberra and Perth.  She worked as a prosecutor at the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman, where she conducted civil penalty prosecutions of employers for breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). For the last 5 years, Katie was Special Counsel in HWL Ebsworth Lawyers’ workplace team, where she advised Commonwealth government and corporate clients on employment issues, and appeared in the Fair Work Commission and the Federal Courts. 

Peter Strong, former CEO of the Council of Small Business of Australia

Peter Strong retired from the CEO position of Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia in September 2021 and had been in that role since June 2010.

Peter is recognised nationally and by political parties and media as the voice of small business people in Australia. For over a decade Peter has advocated for the self-employed to receive the same considerations as employees when it comes to human rights and health issues. Peter has featured frequently in the media, at the National Press Club and in government committees and boards. He has focused on streamlining workplace relations, competition law, contract law and generally improving communications with and expectations of the self employed in particular those who offer employment to other citizens.

Peter continues to work on ‘Community Economics” and is developing further work around Podcasts and workshops focused on politics and influence. Peter also owned Smiths Alternative Bookshop in Canberra for many years successfully converting it to a music and arts venue now known as Smiths Alternative.

Sponsors & Supporters

The Law Society is proud to recognise legalsuper as the sponsor of the Law Society CPD Program.

legalsuper is the industry super fund for Australia’s legal community. With personal service for every member, we can help you to maximise your super, consolidate accounts, adjust insurance or investments, plan for retirement and more. Contact Long Nguyen on 0477 401 151 or lnguyen@legalsuper.com.au to book your free appointment today — meetings can be conducted by phone or on Zoom.

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