Sydney: March 10 | Melbourne: March 16 | Perth: March 18 | Brisbane: March 23 

Workshop Agenda


Facilitated by David Dilger & Rod Collinson, Directors & Co-founders, Edge Legal

Course duration 9.00am – 4.30pm
8.30 Registration and welcome tea / coffee    
10.30 – 11.00 Morning break 
12.20 – 1.00 Lunch break 
2.30 – 2.50 Afternoon break 
  • Identifying the main types of poor performing employees 
  • Profiling common management and HR practices which can contribute to performance issues 
  • Creating socially safer workplaces  
  • Investigating common legal claims resulting from ineffective management and poor performance management processes, including: confusing misconduct with performance, constructive dismissal, bullying, stress and adverse action claims
  • Looking at managerial authority, responsibility for managing performance and how HR can support management to step up 
  • Effectively managing the employment relationship, including out of hours conduct and social media 
  • Holding effective one-on-ones, and giving frequent feedback for improved performance
  • Using DISC to understand communication styles and how they impact communication in the workplace 
  • Recognising most common performance issues can be ‘overused strengths’ 
  • Using communication styles as a tool to more effectively deal with performance issues
  • Having crucial conversations along the performance pathway, and ensuring their effectiveness 
  • Framing performance issues and what you are measuring performance against 
  • Dealing with mis-aligned performance perceptions of the employee 
  • Engaging in low versus high intensity crucial conversations - informal versus formal approaches 
  • Documenting crucial conversations 
  • Determining the right decisions and justifying reasonable management actions
  • Overcoming problems with traditional performance appraisals 
  • Aligning managerial and HR effectiveness with acceptable standards for the organisation 
  • Avoiding complex performance or disciplinary processes that are ineffective 
  • Minimising potential legal risks and consequences of performance improvement processes 
  • Practice by role playing crucial conversations, and creating crucial tailored emails for performance scenarios which can have escalating problems
  • Using crucial conversations to avoid legal claims such as unfair dismissal, general protections, bullying and psychological injury or stress 
  • How to proceed in the face of legal claims or grievances

Sydney: March 11 | Melbourne: March 17 | Perth: March 19 | Brisbane: March 24



  • Mental health risks: 
    • Understanding employer OHS obligations and duty of care as they relate to mental health  
    • Monitoring, managing and safeguarding against mental health or psychological injury risks and triggers in the workplace 
    • Evaluating resilience of potential employees, without crossing the line 
    • Approaching conversations with employees about mental health issues or risks 
  • Psychological injury and medical incapacity: 
    • Working with medical experts who are treating the employee - what can you request, and dealing with non-responsive employees and doctors 
    • Understanding an employers’ rights to an independent medical assessment to determine capacity 
    • Accommodating workers compensation claims, and dealing with issues around causation 
    • Managing return to work scenarios, looking at reasonable adjustments, and building in some flexibility 
    • Dealing with absent employees, and avoiding discrimination claims when dealing with medical incapacity due to mental health issues 


  • Looking at the state of play regarding: Sham contracting; Underpayment/wage compliance cases and potential for criminal sanctions; Employee class actions; FWO attention on accessorial liabilities  
  • Reviewing classifications for non-permanent staff, understanding casual conversion and changes to part time worker entitlements 
  • Removing ambiguities regarding independent contractors and permanent employee status 
  • Understanding recent Modern Award entitlement changes, including for casual conversion and flexibility provisions 
  • Communicating reasonable business grounds for not being able to agree to requests for casual conversion or flexibility 
  • Complying with new the annualised salary clause in awards being introduced – understanding the changes, and your obligations 
  • Complying with the new 10 day paid personal/carer’s leave entitlement, regardless of hours worked 




  • Reviewing triggers, the broad scope of adverse actions, and general protections claims by people in current employment 
  • Identifying what ‘injuring employment’ can cover 
  • Understanding the reverse onus of proof on employers, and displacing an adverse action claim 
  • Educating operational management on adverse action risks  
  • Reviewing the lifecycle of an adverse action claim for in-employment claims 
  • Assessing when to settle, versus challenging a general protections or adverse actions claim 
  • Case law reviews for non-termination related cases, including compensation decisions and other remedies


  • Understanding how unfair dismissal claims and termination related adverse action claims are treated differently 
  • Minimising termination risks for fixed term and rolling contracts  
  • Reducing exposures to adverse action claims: when and how they can be triggered after the employment relationship has ended  
  • Minimising risks of terminations which can result in adverse action claims, including: Lawful reasoning; Showing cause; Processes and communication 
  • Case law reviews



  • Do notice periods in contractor agreements negate the status of a contract? When may you be best to pay out the full contract on termination?
  • IP and confidentiality: Specifying proprietary interests to be covered 
  • Determining reasonable restraints, for different levels of employees 
  • Tailoring restraints – when is it appropriate? 
  • Assessing whether your restraint or non-compete clauses are too restrictive or unenforceable. What would courts likely consider to be unreasonable? 
  • Reviewing case law, remedies and injunctions for post-termination non-compete and restraints


  • Understanding different legislation covering bullying and sexual harassment 
  • Helping operational managers identify and triage issues early 
  • Dealing with bullying claims resulting from reasonable management actions 
  • Addressing complaints, and when to investigate 
  • Knowing how to proceed when a complainant requests anonymity or an informal approach 
  • Ensuring objectivity, procedural fairness and correct processes 
    • For bullying complaints 
    • For complaints of inappropriate behaviour or sexual harassment 
  • Analysing recent case decisions, trends and remedies



  • Raising and responding to concerns about behaviour – informal approaches vs. formal or facilitated meetings  
  • Avoiding misclassification of underperformance as a conduct issue 
  • Dealing with vexatious claims by employees 
  • Policies in practice: Drawing connection between out-of-work conduct; If social media standards should be in your policies; Communicating organisational values 
  • Moving forward when non-disciplinary actions have been tried in the past, to no avail 
  • Warnings – what they should contain 
  • Substantiating and dealing with serious misconduct 
  • Pre-empting investigations: Considering underlying behaviour, and whether to proceed to an investigation 
  • Reviewing recent case decisions


  • Assessing factors influencing an investigation, seriousness of allegations, and complexities of complaints 
  • Planning your investigation, defining terms of reference and setting timelines 
  • Maintaining independence and ensuring procedural fairness 
  • Managing information flow in an investigation. What should be shared and communicated? 
  • When is a temporary remedy such as suspension appropriate, and approaching it without prejudice 
  • Managing common difficult issues in investigations, and building in flexibility for unplanned circumstances 
  • Making well-reasoned findings 
  • When investigations lead to terminations – substantive reasoning and justifications 
  • Reviewing related cases