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Recorded Online Conferences

Mental Health in the Workplace and an Employer's Obligations - Recorded Online Conference

Hear from the experts at this online lunchtime conference. You can watch it on your computer or on your portable electronic device from anywhere.


About the Recorded Online Conference

You can put your staff in the boardroom and watch it there. You can watch it on your computer or on your portable electronic device. All for the same low price.

The conference will be based on our highly successful video webinar technology: there’ll be a chairperson, a panel of experts, presentations and discussion.

Our annual 2-day employment law conferences are among the most highly regarded professional development events we run, but we realise that not everyone can spare two days out of the office. So we’re offering you a new way to access the experts online – a half-day online conference, focused on mental health in the workplace.


Session 1: Mental Health First Aid: A Primer for Employers

Mental illness affects a high proportion of the Australian population, with approximately 45% of Australians experiencing a mental health issue in their lifetime. How can employers best deal with mental illness in their workplaces? This session explores the mental health fundamentals for employers and examines how to best integrate mental health and wellbeing into the workplace. It covers:

  • Signs and symptoms of the common types of mental health issues
  • What can you do to support and educate your workforce in the area of mental health?
  • Making mental health enquiries and conducting testing prior to employment and with current employees – when is it lawful and appropriate?
  • The responsibilities of leadership in the area of mental health
  • Who can you tell if you have concerns about an employee’s mental health? Understanding an employer’s privacy obligations
  • Implementing effective communication strategies - how to have an ‘are you okay’ discussion

Session 2: Mental Health and Managing Workplace Health and Safety Obligations

All employers have a duty to ensure the health and safety of their employees in the workplace. However, what can an employer do if there is a concern about the health and safety of an employee with a mental illness? This session explores the intersect between mental health and managing an employers’ workplace health and safety obligations. It covers:

  • Preventing harm by identifying and assessing work related mental health hazards and risks - bullying, stress, harassment and workplace trauma
  • Implementing effective control measures to eliminate or minimise those risks
  • When is there a ‘reasonably foreseeable risk’ of psychiatric injury to a particular employee? Lessons from recent case law
  • When does an employee’s medical condition create an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of others at work?
  • Case study: Safe Work Australia guidance on work-related psychological health and safety


Session 3: Performance Management, Mental Health and the Employers’ Obligations

Performance management is a challenge for all employers. However, it can become even more complex when it involves an employee with mental health issues. This session examines how to get the performance management process right and avoid the risks of discrimination or adverse action claims. It covers:

  • Implementing performance management policies and procedures – implementing a process that is procedurally fair, sensitive and just
  • Training key personnel on mental health issues – why it is important
  • Minimising harm to vulnerable employees during the performance management process
  • Employer’s obligations to provide additional support to mentally ill employees
  • What can employers do if a grievance claim arises from the process?
  • Impact of extended leave on the performance management process
  • Performance management and misconduct / underperformance:
    • What if the alleged misconduct or underperformance was the result of an employee’s mental illness?
    • What if the employer was not aware of the mental illness when reviewing the alleged misconduct / underperformance?
    • When can an employer safely terminate for misconduct / underperformance?
  • Case law update

The Faculty

Chair: Janet Hopkins, General Manager, Mindful Employer Australia Andrew Maher, Partner, CIE Legal, Melbourne Belinda Winter, Partner, Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers, Brisbane Alexandra Grayson, Principal, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Sydney


CPD Information

CERTIFICATE Lawyers can claim up to 3 CPD units/points.


If you need assistance or have an enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact our Event Coordinator, Hayley Williams—Cameron on (03) 8601 7730 or email: [email protected]

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