Industrial Relations Webinar – Free to ACA members

8 February 2021

In early 2021, the ACA’s new industrial advisor, Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers, presented a very timely IR Update.

This CPD webinar was held on 24 February 2021 and is now available for PURCHASE ON DEMAND (FREE for members, $40 for nonmembers).


The ACA continues to represent architectural employers on industrial relations matters, to keep members informed about changes that impact them, and to support architects to be fair and ethical employers. Our first webinar for the year was a very timely presentation by our new industrial relations advisor, Tom Earls of Fair Work Lawyers.

Tom covered the following topics and what they mean for your practice:

1. Understanding the key changes to the Architects Award in May 2020

This topic is essential for all architects in a changing area of law and an ever-increasing focus on compliance. Casual employment has been at the forefront of industrial relations law for some years. This webinar will discuss the important award changes that have been made to the Architects award, in particular the casual employment clauses.

2. Understanding main changes to other awards arising from the review of modern awards

This topic will cover the close relationship the Architects Award has with the Clerks Award and other awards. Unbeknownst to many employers, their employees may be covered by more than one award. This topic covers the coverage of awards and changes to other relevant awards, including prospective changes to the Architects Award.

3. The current legislative environment and changes to casual employment

In 2020 the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 (the Bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives and is presently before a Senate Committee. This Bill will bring significant changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and related legislation – in particular, changes to the definition of casual employees, casual conversion, casual loading and a raft of other changes that will affect your business.

4. Moving forward with COVID-19 and the employer’s perspective on the vaccine

The COVID crisis continues to pose many challenges for employers, often involving areas of the laws that were largely unexplored until the pandemic. The next such challenge relates to employers mandating vaccines. This topic explores the WHS requirements and the employer’s obligations in this progressive area of law.

5. How your business can implement the above and comply with legal obligations

In this section, we discuss the key ways that your business can comply with all of the employee/employer obligations.

6. Looking ahead at potential changes to the Fair Work Act

This final point will discuss what’s next in the work of industrial and workplace relations for the Fair Work Act and the associated legislation and legal principles that may be affected.

Our Speaker

Tom Earls founded Fair Work Lawyers in 2014. He has been involved in IR and legal service for fifteen years, representing employees and employers, individually and collectively, in a variety of jurisdictions. Prior to commencing Fair Work Lawyers, Tom was the Legal and Workplace Services Manager for the Master Builders Association of South Australia from 2006–2014. During this time he was involved extensively in managing industrial relations issues in an often intense industrial environment. This included involvement in cutting edge cases and on all recent landmark construction projects in Adelaide.

In the workplace relations field, Tom has been intimately involved in the preparation and negotiation of hundreds of enterprise agreements, union and non-union, and represented employers in scores of matters before the Fair Work Commission and other Courts and tribunals – covering a range of matters from safety prosecutions to workers compensation disputes to discrimination to common law damages claims to Full Bench and Full Court appeals. Tom was appointed to the Industrial Relations Advisory Committee, the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Committee and is a member of the Industrial Court of South Australia’s Review Panel.


ACA members – FREE!!
Non members – $40

Access to the recording and materials for this webinar is now available for PURCHASE ON DEMAND.

One ticket is required per attendee. Once you have made your booking you will receive a recording registration link, and subsequently presentation slides, CPD questions and sample answers.

**Use your ACA website member login to access the discount code for your free ticket (see the discount code at bottom of page). Apply the code at the checkout.

**Please note that this webinar was originally held 24 February 2021.


1 formal CPD point


AACA NSCA : 9 Practice Management – 9.7 Knowledge of legal and regulatory requirements and obligations in regard to architectural practice, practice management and registration as an architect.
APBSA Core Area: Practice Management

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the basic legal requirements of the Architects Award
  • Understand if legal advice should be sought regarding the potential changes and if any areas of liability may crystalise with the enactment of the Bill
  • Understand the coverage of the Architects Award
  • Understand the coverage of similar awards
  • Be equipped to make changes to the workplace if and when changes to the Architects Award are enacted
  • Understand what is meant by the terms: casual employee, casual conversion, casual loading, Better Off Overall Test, penalties under the Fair Work Act and transfer of business.
  • Attendees should be able to identify when one of the alterations to the Fair Work Act will affect their business and seek legal advice
  • Understand when an employer can direct an employee to be vaccinated
  • Understand when an employee can refuse the vaccine
  • Learn how the COVID-19 emergency legislation will continue to affect their business
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply the methods discussed in this webinar to maintain compliance with the practice’s legal obligations
  • Attendees should be able to identify when one of the alterations to the Fair Work Act will affect their business and seek legal advice
  • Understand when certain legal changes may come into effect


NOTE: Member Only Content