Steven Penning

Steven is a Partner in our Workplace Relations and Safety Group with over 25 years experience advising on all aspects of workplace relations and safety law and strategy. He is known for providing pragmatic and commercially focused advice and practical solutions and for his approachable and down to earth manner.

Steven’s practice includes significant work in Work Health and Safety and his experience in this area involves both advice on compliance and risk management and representation in SafeWork prosecutions.

Steven is often engaged to independently investigate workplace accidents, disputes and complaints and is experienced in dealing with unions in safety and right of entry disputes across a number of industries including construction, aviation and transport, financial services and manufacturing.

Steven has extensive experience providing strategic industrial relations advice including: assisting employers with complex and sensitive terminations of executive employment; negotiating and planning workplace enterprise agreements; implementing workplace restructurings; advising on Fair Work Act compliance issues. Steven has substantial experience in advising major companies and organisations in a range of industries including: retail, franchising, aviation and transport, manufacturing and distribution, resources, financial services and local government.

Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession lists Steven as one of the recommended Employment Law Practitioners in Australia. He is a sought after seminar and workshop training presenter for clients. Steven has been named in Best Lawyers™ Australia for Alternative Dispute Resolution, Employee Benefits Law and Labour and Employment Law. Steven is an Accredited Specialist in Employment and Industrial Law with the NSW Law Society and a member of the Specialist Accreditation Employment and Industrial Law Advisory Committee (the Specialist Committee that oversights the Specialists).


Steven’s experience includes:

  • Insurers: Acting in all aspects of Employment Practices Liability Insurance including in relation to coverage and indemnity under the policy, and in respect of employment, discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying and termination of employment claims and safety prosecutions from initial notification through to resolution;
  • Employers: Terminations of employment and severance arrangements for senior executives and managers and other sensitive and difficult employment and industrial disputes;
  • Employers: Legislative and modern award enforcement and compliance claims and defended prosecutions in the Federal Court and Federal Magistrates Court built on a wealth of experience in industrial instrument interpretation;
  • Employers: Discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying advising, defence and proactive workplace training;
  • Employers: Appearing as an advocate before the Fair Work Commission and all industrial and discrimination courts and tribunals, including in relation to unfair dismissal and adverse action proceedings;
  • Civil Contractor: Defending fatality proceedings;
  • Manufacturing sector: Defending category 2 charges in the NSW District Court;
  • Regional building industry: Defending category 2 charges in the NSW District Court including liaising with SafeWork NSW over compliance notices and right of entry disputes;
  • NSW Government: Compliance training on the management of injured workers, risk management and safety systems;
  • Resource Sector: Due diligence training and advice;
  • Construction Supplier: Appearing in Coronial proceedings;
  • Construction: Successful defence of charges, including charges of reckless conduct and breach of employee obligations, in the Work Health and Safety jurisdiction;
  • Not for Profit: Risk assessment and advice on development and implementation of safety system in high risk areas.

Contact us