From office to bedroom – Romantic relationships in the workplace

There has recently been significant media attention concerning certain high profile executives having “inappropriate relationships” with employees within their organisations. These stories raise questions about the scope of an employer’s ability to regulate personal relationships in the workplace. So, when does a personal relationship become an employer’s business? Dating a colleague – Whose business is … Read more

Victoria to overhaul environmental regulation

The Victorian Government will overhaul its approach to environmental regulation, taking a more preventative approach. The Victorian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) revealed the plans at a recent Australian Environment Business Network seminar hosted by HWL Ebsworth. The new approach is expected to be included in a draft Bill, due next year, which will rewrite the … Read more

Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 – Commences

The Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 received Royal Assent on 14 September 2017. The amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 commenced today 15 September 2017. Importantly, responsible franchisor entities and holding companies can be held liable for contraventions of specified civil remedy provisions of the Fair Work Act by their franchisees … Read more

Tax Insight: Legislation introduced on foreign owner annual vacancy fee

As foreshadowed in the 2017-18 Federal Budget, on Thursday 7 September 2017 the Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Bill 2017 was introduced in the House of Representatives to implement an annual vacancy fee on foreign owners of residential real estate. In this Tax Insight we explore this new cost on foreign investment. When will … Read more

Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 (Bill) Passed

On Tuesday 5 September 2017 the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 (Bill) was passed by the House of Representatives after a long period of debate and following a number of amendments which were made by the Senate. The Bill amends the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act) and introduces several new reforms that … Read more

Project Bank Accounts under the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Bill 2017

Building industry fairness (security of payment) bill 2017 The Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Bill 2017 (Bill) was introduced to the Queensland parliament on 22 August 2017. It’s main purpose is said to be1 “to help people working in the building and construction industry in being paid for the work they do.” The Bill primarily seeks to … Read more

Trends in sustainability reporting and carbon risk disclosure

Sustainability reporting is not mandatory in Australia but many companies report voluntarily on social and environmental performance to meet annual disclosure obligations, assist with stakeholder engagement and demonstrate a commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR). A recent survey conducted by the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR) found that 53% of the Australian respondents … Read more

Australia: SVC risk and regulation

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (‘AUSTRAC’) has recently published its first ‘Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Risk Assessment: Stored Value Cards’ (‘SVC Assessment’), which analyses the potential of stored value cards (‘SVCs’) to be used for money laundering or terrorism financing (‘ML/TF’) purposes. HWL Ebsworth Partner, Michael Anastas and Trainee Solicitor Elizabeth Singleton … Read more

Gig economy no safe haven against employment laws

The South Australian Employment Tribunal (Tribunal) has held that an Uber driver was in an employment relationship with the Company that provided him with his vehicle. In taking the common law approach to the ‘gig economy’ relationship, the Tribunal considered the following factors supported a finding that an employment relationship existed: The Company provided the … Read more

Queensland’s first conversion application heard in the Planning and Environment Court

Under the former Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) (SPA), and the current Planning Act 2016 (Qld) (PA), developers may apply to a local government to convert non-trunk infrastructure to trunk infrastructure.  Until last week, this new area of the law had been untested. A recent decision of her Honour Judge Kefford in The Avenues Highfields … Read more