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Personal Liability and The Cost Of Getting It Wrong

On Thursday, 23rd November, mlcoa QLD hosted “Personal Liability and The Cost Of Getting It Wrong” presented by Barrister Mr John Dwyer.

Mr Dwyer discussed a number of areas relevant to the subject inclusive of:

  • Circumstances where managers have been sued personally for e.g. discrimination, and the types orders courts and tribunals can make; and
  • The types of costs incurred in defending against claims for e.g. discrimination or adverse action, covering both awards of compensation and costs orders etc. made by courts and tribunals.

Mr Dwyer discussed what actions can arise form an IME and also discussed Personal Liability at length. He educated attendees on how unfair dismissal and worker’s compensation are based in the employment relationships so no personal liability arises for e.g HR Manager, however errors can still lead to significant cost for employer which might have consequences for manager.

Mr Dwyer also provided broad education in regards to Fair Work Act 2009 and how it contains provision for accessorial liability, making an individual liable for a contravention of the FWA where the individual was knowingly concerned with the contravention.

Mr Dwyer presented relevant case studies to the topic as Dowling v Kirk & Ors (2007),  FWO v NSH North Pty Ltd and FWO v Blue Impression and Acorn Stairlifts, where the personal liability of the HR Managers were questioned .  

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