On 13 October 2017 at the Swissotel Sydney, leading employment lawyers from the L&E Global Asia Pacific member firms presented to L&E Global multi-jurisdictional clients on key legal workplace relations trends, milestones, challenges and opportunities that Asia Pacific HR Directors, Senior Executives and In-House Counsels may face in the coming year.

Presenters included: Michael Harmer, Chairman, Harmers Workplace Lawyers (Australia), Carol Zhu, Partner, Zhong Lun (China), Avik Biswas, Partner, IndusLaw (India), Don McKinnon, Partner, SBM Legal (New Zealand) and John Sander, Principal, Jackson Lewis (USA).

The webcast video is available for viewing below.


Sponsored by Harmers Workplace Lawyers and hosted by the Australian Institute of Employment Rights, the 7th Annual Ron McCallum Debate was held at the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at UTS on Wednesday 25 October 2017. This year’s debate challenged whether Australia’s workplace relations system is broken; and provided varying perspectives on the best way forward. The debate was moderated by former FWA and AIRC President, the Honourable Geoffrey Giudice AO, with Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO providing his reflections. The panel discussion featured: Jo Schofield, National Secretary of United Voice; Stephen Cartwright, Chief Executive Officer of NSW Business Chamber; Dr Sarah Kaine, Associate Professor at UTS; and Lina Cabaero-Ponnambalam, Coordinator, Asian Women at Work.

The AIER’s Discussion Paper outlined the issues at the heart of this year’s debate.

Please follow the instructions below to watch the video.


The final luncheon in the Harmers Western Sydney Forum event series was held on Thursday 27 October 2016 at the Pullman Hotel in Sydney Olympic Park. The topic of “Complaint Handling for Managers” was presented by three legal practitioners from Harmers Workplace Lawyers: Michael Harmer, Chairman and Senior Team Leader, Emma Pritchard, Executive Counsel and Team Leader and Amy Zhang, Senior Associate.

In this video of the event, Michael commences by exploring risk management and corporate governance issues for employers. Emma and Amy follow with guidance to employers on how their line managers should respond when faced with a complaint from an employee. Emma and Amy also cover the difference between formal and informal complaints; the importance of maintaining confidentiality; and optimal response mechanisms, including, where necessary, investigation. Emma and Amy touch upon practical steps such as record keeping and legal professional privilege. Please follow instructions below to watch the video.


On Thursday 29 September 2016, Harmers Workplace Lawyers sponsored and hosted the Australian Institute of Employment Rights (“AIER”) 6th Annual Ron McCallum Debate (“Debate”) at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney. This year’s outstanding line-up of panellists, moderated by The Hon Geoff Giudice AO, included: Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO; Caterina Cinanni, National President, National Union of Workers; Jacqueline Phillips, Director of Policy, Australian Council of Social Service; Dr Joanna Howe, University of Adelaide; Kate Carnell AO, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman; and Alex Malley FCPA, Chief Executive, CPA Australia.

The Debate topic was ““Inequality and insecurity: responding to the challenge of precarious work”, and explored the experiences of workers in insecure work; the reality faced by small and medium businesses in today’s economy; the regulatory deficiencies that provide the conditions for the exploitation of temporary migrant workers; the importance of education and leadership in building a strong society; and some of the causes of and solutions to rising economic inequality.

To read the Debate Summary, please click here.

To access the Debate Background Discussion Paper, please click here.

Please follow instructions below to watch the video.



The second Harmers Western Sydney Forum entitled “Managing Sick & Injured Employees” was held at the Brickworks Design Studio in Sydney’s CBD on Thursday 23 June 2016. In this video presentation, Michael Harmer, Chairman & Senior Team Leader, Harmers Workplace Lawyers, provides an overview of the workplace relations landscape leading up to the 2016 Federal election.

Sophie Redmond, Executive Counsel & Team Leader, Harmers Workplace Lawyers, then discusses the often vexed issue of how to properly manage employees with extended absences from the workplace or continuous periods of sick leave due to illness or injury. Sophie outlines the legal exposures that can arise for employers in terms of disability discrimination, general protections provisions, breach of contract issues, as well as the interaction with workers compensation legislation. Sophie provides a practical framework of steps for employers to take when managing ill and injured employees focused on a preventative approach to minimise legal exposure.

Please follow instructions below to view the video presentation.



The first Western Sydney Forum entitled “Separation Management & Termination of Employment” was held at the Pullman Hotel in Sydney Olympic Park on Thursday 28 April 2016.

In this video presentation, Michael Harmer, Chairman, Harmers Workplace Lawyers, provides an overview of the industrial relations landscape leading up to the 2016 Federal election. Jenny Inness, Executive Counsel and Daniel Shaw, Solicitor of Harmers Workplace Lawyers, then provide updates on separation management and termination of employment from both employer and employee perspectives. This includes potential legal exposures and costs of separation, types of employment separation, how to deal with redundancy, misconduct, poor performance and constructive dismissal as well as best practice guidelines on how to best effect a termination of employment with minimal legal exposure.

Please follow instructions below to view the video presentation.


Our client briefing entitled: “Corporate Governance & Sexual Harassment – Response Mechanisms for Employers”  was held in Sydney on Thursday 28 August 2014. In this session,  Michael Harmer, Chairman and Senior Team Leader provided an update on key developments in workplace relations in Australia.  Sophie Redmond, Senior Associate and Team Leader provided a summary of the foundations of the law for sexual harassment (incorporating relevant NSW state and federal laws) as well as recent case law developments; and Margaret Diamond, General Counsel and Team Leader shared learnings from recent noteworthy cases in sexual harassment. Michael Harmer also provided an overview of corporate governance, risk management and compliance obligations for employers including prevention, optimal response mechanisms and corporate governance improvements.

Harmers Workplace Lawyers would like to acknowledge and thank the ABC Radio National Breakfast program and Business Editor, Sheryle Bagwell for permitting usage of recent radio interviews with Michael Harmer on “Sexual Harassment in Executive Culture”; and the ABC “7.30” program for its coverage, reporting and permission to use the Jemma Ewin story in this presentation (Vergara v Ewin [2014] FCACF 100).
Please click here to access the webcast video and presentation for your ongoing reference.