IR Update – Free for ACA members!

31 August 2021

Watch our latest Industrial Relations webinar with legal advisor Tom Earls, who takes us through the new casual employment regime. Free for ACA members. This popular discussion is now available on demand.

This CPD webinar was held on 7 September 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. This will be our second national IR Update for this year and will include detailed analysis of employer obligations relating to casual engagements and the steps to take during the transitional window before the compliance date.

The long-awaited High Court decision in Workpac Pty Ltd v Rossato [2021] HCA 23 has now been handed down. Prior to the decision being handed down, the Federal Government enacted legislation to overcome the effect of the lower court decisions. This legislation remains in place and has a critical compliance date of 27 September 2021. This webinar will cover the the following topics and what they mean for your practice.

  • Understanding casual employment – Casual employment is now a defined statutory concept. Merely labelling employment as “casual” may not be enough. This topic will cover the meaning of casual employment and how to deal with engagement of casuals.
  • Offers of permanent employment – The centrepiece of the legislation is a right for casual employees to convert to permanent employment. Part of this includes a positive obligation on employers (other than small business) to correspond with casual employees. These obligations are time sensitive and can lead to prosecution if not complied with. This topic will cover the obligations for businesses both small and large.
  • Consequential amendments to Award casual conversion provisions – As part of this process, the Fair Work Commission is reviewing modern awards to minimise ambiguity or uncertainty. This topic will focus on changes to the four main awards applying to architects’ practices.
  • Looking ahead – The rapidly escalating COVID-19 situation inevitably leads to workplace relations issues. This topic will provide a brief update on what’s happening at this crucial time.

Our Speaker

Tom Earls founded Fair Work Lawyers in 2014. He has been involved in IR and legal service for 15 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.


Members – FREE for ACA members
Non-members – $40

*One ticket per attendee. **To access the member discount, use your member login at the bottom of the ACA website event page, to reveal the code and apply at checkout.


1 formal CPD point.

The webinar included time for a Q&A session with the speaker. Written CPD questions based on presented content will be provided with a link to upload your own responses to questions, self-check answers and for issue of a certificate of completion. Please keep your receipt, completed questions and certificate for your CPD records.


Please book below. (If you have trouble with the form below, head to the Trybooking page.) For more information, contact Katherine Ygosse.

NOTE: Member Only Content