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    Employment

    How certain are the terms of your employment contracts?

    In the recent case of McAlister v Yara Australia Pty Ltd [2021] FCCA 1409, an employer was ordered by the Federal Circuit Court to pay …

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    Estate Planning

    Do you need a Will or does your Will need updating?

    If you do not have a Will, now is a great time to make one.  A Will sets out what is to happen with your …

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    Privacy

    Do you know your data breach responsibilities under the Privacy Act? Notifications are down by 16%!

    The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) regularly publishes reports on data breaches that have been reported to the commission under the Notifiable Data …

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    Commercial

    Businesses must be completely transparent to consumers, says ACCC

    The Australian funeral services sector has attracted the attention of the ACCC for all the wrong reasons. Propel Funeral Partners Ltd (Propel), a publicly listed …

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    Corporate Governance

    Governance Manuals – should your organisation have one?

    Whether your organisation is a company limited by guarantee, not for profit or start-up, a Governance Manual, or Governance Charter, could prove useful in the …

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    Director

    When do you have to register for a Director Identification Number? It could be now.

    The Director Identification Number is now in place. From 1 November 2021 new directors of companies must apply for a Director ID immediately, and existing directors need to confirm the deadline for their Director ID registration.

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    Sexual Harassment

    Respect @ Work Reforms – Stop Sexual Harassment Orders

    With the recent passing of the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment Act 2021 (Cth), applications can be made from 11 November 2021 to the Fair Work Commission for a Stop Sexual Harassment Order if an employee reasonably believes that they have been sexually harassed at work.

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    Corporate Governance

    2021 AGM Season: Use of Technology – Will Covid-19 Provisions Become Permanent?

    During the Covid Crisis, the Government has twice had to introduce changes to allow companies to meet and carry out key functions such as executing documents without breaching public health orders. While there are provisions in place to allow the 2021 AGM season to proceed, permanent changes to the Corporations Act are currently under consideration.

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    Property

    COVID-19 response measures regarding retail and commercial lease disputes and assistance for commercial landlords

    A new declaration has been released which requires landlords to negotiate in good faith with tenants who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and breached lease provisions as a result. The ACT government is also providing assistance to commercial landlords who have provided rent relief to tenants.

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    Privacy

    Working from home? Maybe you need a PIA

    In 2021, remote working is not a foreign concept to any of us. To stop the spread of COVID-19 many offices across Australia and the …

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    Privacy

    Privacy Act under highly anticipated review

    The Federal Government last year released the terms of reference for a proposed review of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Act). The Australian Information …

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    Privacy

    Notifiable Data Breaches – 6 months of lessons from the OAIC

    Notifiable Data Breaches Report (July-December 2020) The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released its twice-yearly report on notifiable data breaches reported in …

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    Privacy

    The Privacy Act and its functions in Workplace Investigations

    How does the Privacy Act apply to a workplace investigation? Workplace investigations are typically used to investigate matters such as misconduct, bullying accusations or breaches …

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    Privacy

    Check In CBR – but don’t check out of your privacy obligations

    Everyone across Canberra has seen the Check In CBR posters at venues they have visited. Whether you’re sceptical about the process or happy to Check …

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    Employment

    Qantas JobKeeper case – How to properly calculate JobKeeper payments

    In a recent decision of Qantas Airways Limited v Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia (the JobKeeper Case) the Federal Court of Australia considered and determined …

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    Privacy

    OAIC Privacy Survey Reveals Insights from COVID-19 Australia

    The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has recently published the 2020 Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey (ACAPS). The ACAPS provides insights to …

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    Government

    An impartial summary of the new APSC Guidance on the Personal behaviour of APS employees on social media

    The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has published revised guidance on the use of social media by Australian Government public servants. This comes just over …

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    Intellectual Property

    Please sir… can I use this song?

    On August 13,  the Government announced a plan to reform digital copyright laws to bring them into line with the needs of a more online …

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    Intellectual Property

    IP Australia fee increases and updated classification search

    From 1 October 2020, IP Australia will increase their fees for a number of their intellectual property services including trade mark applications. Trade mark applicants …

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    Commercial

    Government announces plan to extend temporary relief in response to COVID-19

    We previously published an article about the Federal Government’s legislative response to the economic impact of COVID-19 and the introduction of the Coronavirus Economic Response …

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    Property

    Launching Real Estate into the Digital Domain: The transition to e-Conveyancing in the ACT

    The ACT is following in the footsteps of other Australian states and working toward an electronic conveyancing system. It has been on the horizon for …

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    Employment

    Genuine redundancies during the COVID-19 pandemic

    In the recent case of Browne v MySharedServices Pty Ltd [2020] FWC 4445, the Fair Work Commission (Commission) has reasserted the importance of consultation, even …

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    Employment

    How should you calculate sick leave?

    In a recent case Mondelez Australia Pty Ltd v Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union [2020] HCA 29 (Mondelez Case) the High …

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    Litigation & Dispute Resolution

    ACAT fines Lessor for non-compliance with Tribunal order

    It is vital to the administration of justice and the rule of law that orders of the Courts and Tribunals are complied with. The ACT …

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    Employment

    Case Update: Employee compensated $200,000 after being dismissed for sharing a Hitler meme

    We previously wrote about the decision of the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission in the case of Scott Tracey v BP Refinery (Kwinana) …

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    Intellectual Property

    Trans-Tasman IP protection: how to register a trade mark in New Zealand

    Despite the recent decrease in travel due to COVID-19, we still live in the age of globalisation. It is not uncommon for businesses to expand …

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    Employment

    Introduction of Paid Pandemic Leave

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the Fair Work Commission (Commission) introduced unpaid pandemic leave into 99 Modern Awards, to protect workers required to self-isolate …

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    Employment

    Consultation requirement in the redundancy process

    Prior consultation of employees is one of the requirements for a redundancy to be genuine under section 389 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) …

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    Employment

    Changes to the Miscellaneous Award

    The Fair Work Commission have made changes, in effect from 1 July 2020, to the Miscellaneous Award 2020 to cover a broader range of workers, …

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    Employment

    What information can you request from your employees in relation to COVID-19?

    In a recent case Kieran Knight v One Key Resources (Mining) Pty Ltd T/A One Key Resources [2020] FWC 3324 (29 June 2020) (Knight Case), …

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    Employment

    FWO Focuses on Hospitality Underpayment & Compliance Obligations

    On 13 July 2020, Sandra Parker, the current Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), announced the main strategic priorities for the 2020/2021 Financial Year are to address …

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    Employment

    Workplace Meme Culture: Satire Not Grounds for Dismissal says FWC

    The internet has been an area of controversy in employment law for a number of years. Many late-night rants and political outbursts have been the …

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    Employment

    Doors open to casual worker leave entitlements following landmark court ruling

    Recently, the Federal Court handed down its highly-anticipated employment decision in WorkPac Pty Ltd v Rossato [2020] FCAFC 84. The decision concerned an employee of …

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    CommercialCorporate Governance

    Director Identification Numbers Bill has passed

    All company directors will soon be required to apply to ASIC to obtain their own unique Director Identification Number (DIN). The Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries …

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    Estate Planning

    Informal Wills

    The recent case of In the Estate of Jansen [2020] ACTSC 130 (26 May 2020) underscores the importance of obtaining legal advice in relation to …

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    Privacy

    Australians beware: ACCC reports rise in COVID-19 related scams

    The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recorded an alarming rise in scams and phishing activity since the outbreak of COVID-19. It seems scammers …

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    Employment

    Fair Work implements additional measures to protect Modern Awards in light of COVID-19

    The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) have determined by hearing on 8 April 2020 to amend modern awards to accommodate for the …

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    Commercial

    COVID-19: Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Leases

    On Tuesday, 7 April 2020 the Commonwealth Government released a Mandatory Code of Conduct (the Code) containing a set of principles aimed at commercial tenancies …

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    Property

    COVID-19 and the residential tenancies shake up

    Countless Australians are facing financial hardship in the wake of significant coronavirus (COVID-19)-related job loss. Despite the tenant-landlord relationship largely being governed by individual Rental …

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    Corporate Governance

    Temporary change to obligations of incorporated associations

    The States and Territories have introduced some temporary changes affecting incorporated associations. The changes are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and are to accommodate …

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    Employment

    Five new powers of employers

    The five new powers of employers Employers who qualify for the JobKeeper Scheme (a JobKeeper employer) now have the ability to take certain actions when …

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    Corporate Governance

    To be or not to be – the next Annual General Meeting (AGM)

    As a result of the Corona Virus Outbreak (COVID-19) and social isolation restrictions, many organisations are finding it impossible hold their AGM. For companies with …

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    Debt Recovery

    Changes to Statutory Demands Process

    It is no secret that COVID-19 has had an extraordinary impact on our day to day lives. As a result of the pandemic, there has …

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    Employment

    Global pandemic is no excuse, employers obligated to protect health and safety of employees

    With an increase in the number of people working from home or working remotely because of COVID-19, it is important for employers to understand that …

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    Privacy

    COVIDSafe: The latest government app and what it means for your privacy

    The Federal Government have just released their highly anticipated COVIDSafe App to help monitor the spread of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Of key concern to many …

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    CommercialEstate Planning

    Changes to witnessing documents in NSW

    The NSW Government have temporarily suspended requirements for documents to be witnessed in person, in light of COVID-19. Legislation passed last week (Electronic Transactions Amendment …

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    Corporate Governance

    Director identification numbers coming our way…

    It has been discussed for some years now, but the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2019 is finally before Parliament and …

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    Debt Recovery

    The Debt Recovery Process

    At Griffin Legal we act in debt recovery matters for a diverse range of large and small clients from a variety of industries and backgrounds. …

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    Employment

    Changes to Annualised Salaries under Modern Awards

    From 1 March 2020, the Fair Work Commission has introduced new requirements for the payment of Annualised Salaries under Modern Awards. These changes will increase …

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    Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels Employment

    Risk of defamation for businesses with a Facebook page

    In Australia, the concept of free speech, although not enshrined in our Constitution, is a fundamental principle that many individuals seek to exercise. However, this …

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    New Year, New Will 2020! Estate Planning

    New Year, New Will 2020!

    A new Will may not be the first thing on your new year’s resolution list, however, it is very important to consider. If you do …

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    Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels Intellectual Property

    Copyright law in the age of Social Media

    Australia’s copyright laws, enshrined in the Copyright At 1968 (Cth)(the Act) are designed to protect original, tangible material. For example, you can protect things like …

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    IoT’s out there! Are you ready? Intellectual PropertyPrivacy

    IoT’s out there! Are you ready?

    Carly: How was your run this morning? Jane: How did YOU know I ran this morning? Carly: Don’t you remember? You shared all your health …

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    Broader coverage of the Secure Local Jobs Code Employment

    New Law – Broader coverage of the Secure Local Jobs Code

    From 7 November 2019, businesses that want to provide services worth more than $200,000 to the ACT Government must have a Code Certificate and Labour …

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    Whistleblower legislation Corporate Governance

    NEW Law – Whistleblower legislation

    On 13 November 2019, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released its updated regulatory guidelines on whistleblower policies and what it expects a policy …

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    Late unfair dismissal applications Employment

    Late unfair dismissal applications

    As most people are aware, unfair dismissal applications must be lodged within 21 days of termination. In limited circumstances, the Fair Work Commission can allow …

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    Use of an App to record employee’s start and finish times Privacy

    Use of an App to record employee’s start and finish times

    If you want to make clocking in and out easier for employees, maybe you are considering introducing a mobile App that would streamline the clock …

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    Two jobs, one employer = how many employment contracts? Corporate GovernanceEmployment

    Two jobs, One employer = how many employment contracts?

    In the recent case of Kroeger v Mornington Peninsula Shire Council [2019] FCCA 2313 (22 August 2019), the Federal Circuit Court of Australia provided useful …

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    Boiler plate clause explanations: Joint and several clauses Commercial

    Boiler plate clause explanations: Joint and several clauses

    You’ve probably seen a joint and several clause in a contract before. It reads something like “Each Borrower agrees it is jointly and severable liable …

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    Transitioning from an incorporated association to a public company limited by guarantee Corporate Governance

    Transitioning from an incorporated association to a public company limited by guarantee

    Many not-for-profit organisations are registered as an incorporated association. An incorporated association is governed by the legislation of the State or Territory in which they …

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    Modern Slavery in Australia CommercialEmployment

    Modern Slavery in Australia

    In 2018, Modern Slavery Acts were passed by both the Federal and NSW State Governments in order to regulate the risks of modern slavery in …

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    Employment

    Board Members and Working with Vulnerable People

    It is compulsory for any person (whether employed or in a voluntary capacity) who engages in a certain activity with a vulnerable person to obtain …

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    modern data breach Privacy

    Unpacking modern Data Breaches: Is your data safe?

    In November 2018, the Australian National University (ANU) suffered a massive data breach where up to 19 years of sensitive and personal data were obtained …

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    You’d be nuts not to register your trade marks! CommercialIntellectual Property

    You’d be nuts not to register your trade marks!

    Federal Court makes ruling on licensing of unregistered trade marks in Peanut Butter dispute. You may have noticed a change in the branding of your …

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    Intellectual Property

    New damages available for unjustified threat proceedings in IP cases

    It is no secret that as a trademark owner you have the right to protect your intellectual property and preserve your business identity. A great …

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    Privacy

    Collection of Personal Information from a third party

    A recent decision from the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner (Privacy Commissioner) provided a timely reminder to organisations about obligations when collecting personal information …

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    Not-for-Profit

    Pop Quiz for Charities – who do you notify when there is a change of directors?

    Charities that are companies limited by guarantee do not need to notify ASIC of changes to officeholders. However, these charities do need to notify ACNC …

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    Employment

    Forcing Employees to Take Annual Leave

    It has been recently reported that the Commonwealth Corporation, Airservices Australia Pty Ltd (Airservices) has been fined for incorrectly forcing its staff to take leave …

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    Employment

    Employee Claims Following Workplace Investigations

    Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth), employers must take all reasonable steps to create a safe workplace for all employees by eliminating …

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    CommercialEmployment

    New Association rules for Material Personal Interests

    A raft of new provisions were introduced recently under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 (ACT), and notably those which deal with material personal interests. Here …

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    Property

    Basic concepts in property ownership – Canberra

    This article explains some key concepts in property – some general and some unique to Canberra. Joint tenants: This is where two or more people …

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    sport teams huddle Corporate Governance

    Responsibility, Accountability and Liability in Unincorporated Associations

    An unincorporated association, unlike a company, does not have legal status and is not a separate legal entity from its members.[1] Therefore, an unincorporated association cannot …

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    group meetin Corporate Governance

    Legislation changes for ACT incorporated associations

    It is important for any organisation to stay on top of regulatory changes. For associations incorporated in the ACT (Associations) there have been at least …

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    Open hand welcoming EmploymentPrivacy

    What can my employer do with my fingerprints?

    A closer look at biometric data in the workplace A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has provided some insight into the collection …

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    laptop in the dark with code CommercialGovernmentPrivacy

    Revised data encryption laws explained

    A controversial shake up to Australia’s data laws came into force in December 2018. The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 …

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    kangaroos fighting Estate PlanningLitigation & Dispute Resolution

    Can a dispute about a Deed, be resolved by the Deed in dispute?

    The lessons from Rinehart v Hancock Prospecting Whether you’re confused about the heading of this article or identify with it – the question of how …

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    mug, glasses and tissues Employment

    What’s in a day? The Federal Court rules on personal leave accruals

    On 21 August 2019, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia considered an alleged inconsistency between the National Employment Standards (NES) and an …

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    Employment

    ACT Ombudsman Facebook page goes live!

    Last year many of you attended our Workplace Reportable Conduct & Child Protection Obligations Seminar where we discussed: what is covered by the scheme in …

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    Commercial

    Whistleblower Protections

    Does Your Company Have a Policy? From 1 July 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill 2019 (Cth) takes effect. These changes impact …

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    EmploymentLitigation & Dispute Resolution

    Pranks and Allegations of Sexual Harassment

    Pranks and allegations of sexual harassment Sexual harassment allegations in the workplace are dealt with under Commonwealth and Territory legislation. Sexual harassment occurs when a …

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    Corporate GovernanceGovernment

    What is Probity all about?

    Whilst probity is not an exciting topic, it is a very important one and should be considered when undertaking any procurement process.  As government agencies …

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    Property

    Disclosure Requirements for Real Estate Agents

    Connections and relationships are formed in the property sector all the time. It is part of regular practice for those working in the real estate …

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    Privacy

    12 Months of Enforcement – The Trials and Tribulations of the GDPR

    The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018. We have now seen 12 months since the commencement of the …

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    Commercial

    1 July 2019 – What’s new in the law?

    There are many changes to the laws and regulations commencing over the next 6 months. Here we summarise some of those key changes: PROPERTY Some …

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    Property

    Buying off-the-plan

    Things are changing in NSW… Buying off the plan can be an exciting time for a homeowner or investor.  The shiny brochures always promise so …

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    EmploymentLitigation & Dispute Resolution

    Stop Orders

    When you can’t use them, use by volunteers, PLUS the need to demonstrate real bullying Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), an employee who …

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    CommercialEmployment

    Fair Work Commission Decisions on Reasonable Management Action

    Reasonable management action refers to performance management or a disciplinary process that is carried out fairly, transparently and justly. As an employer, you have the …

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    Sports Law

    It’s not just athletes that need training; do you have a Member Protection Policy?

    Sports Australia maintains that sporting organisations have an obligation to ensure that their sport “is safe, fair and inclusive for everyone involved”. A member protection …

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    Estate Planning

    Do I need a Will?

    Do I need a will? YES! The answer is always yes! In every estate planning article you will ever read, the answer will be yes. …

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    Corporate GovernanceNot-for-Profit

    AGM Planning

    Think it’s too early to plan for your organisation’s AGM? Think again. Many of the tasks required to properly plan for and hold an Annual …

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    Property

    READY FOR (LAND) TAX TIME?

    Land Tax Liability Amendments The Land Tax Act 2004 (ACT) (the Act) was amended last year, resulting in many more home owners being liable for …

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    Privacy

    What will the new Morrison government mean for privacy?

    Earlier this year, the then Communications Minister Mitch Fifield unveiled plans to amend and update the Privacy Act 1988 (the Act). The focus of the …

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    CommercialEmployment

    Unfair contracts – business to business

    Unfair contracts legislation has now been in place for two and a half years. Only a Court can determine whether a contract term is unfair …

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    Sports Law

    Work in sport? Do you know about the Sporting Organisations Award 2010?

    If you work in sport in Australia, you are probably covered by the Sporting Organisations Award 2010, unless of course your workplace has an enterprise …

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    CharityNot-for-Profit

    Winding up a charity

    Before a charity is wound up there are several compliance activities that must occur with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC), including lodging the …

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    Commercial

    More on force majeure clauses

    Many businesses will routinely enter into a contract which contains a “force majeure” clause. However, many may not know that the purpose of a force …

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    Employment

    Restraint of Trade

    Restraints of trade are routinely included in employment contracts (and often independent contractor agreements) to protect an employer’s trade secrets, confidential information, customer connections and staff connections …

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    CharityNot-for-Profit

    Electoral spending

    Changes to the Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) now require charities that spend money to influence voters in a federal election to register and report expenditure …

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    Government

    Foreign Influence Registration Scheme

    The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme commenced on 10 December 2018 with the enactment of the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018 (Cth). As stated in …

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