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- Australian Reforms Tackle Psychosocial Hazards, Including Sexual Harassment, in the Workplace
In the wake of recent government inquiries into alleged bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, in Australian workplaces, Australian legislatures and work health and safety regulators have become increasingly focused on the psychological health and safety of workers. These developments have highlighted the need for employers to better understand and proactively manage psychosocial hazards in the workplace in order to safeguard the psychological, as well as physical, health and safety of all persons in the workplace. As Australian lawmakers and regulators continue to focus on the issue, we are seeing, and will continue to see, increased obligations and regulatory scrutiny of the actions required of persons conducting a business or undertaking to safeguard the psychological health and safety of workers. We outline some of the more significant recent legislative reforms, with a particular focus on workplace sexual harassment as an example of this broader trend. Please see full article below for more information.
- Managing your FIRB approval compliance obligations
Recent changes to Australia’s foreign investment and acquisition regime have led to an increase in the regularity and scope of conditions imposed by the Treasurer on approvals granted to foreign entities investing in Australian assets. Please see Publication below for more information.
- Buying and Selling Real Estate in Australia (Updated)
KEY FACTS OF REAL ESTATE ACQUISITIONS UNDER AUSTRALIAN LAW - The majority of land in Australia consists of freehold title. Registration of ownership of freehold title is recorded using the Torrens system. The Torrens system is a system of title by registration. This means that an interest will only be a legal interest if it is registered on title. Once the interest is registered, that interest is indefeasible and takes priority over all other interests. Both the vendor selling the land and the purchaser purchasing the land execute a legal document transferring ownership. Once settlement of the property has occurred, the transfer document is registered. Each State and Territory in Australia has its own register. The purchaser becomes the registered proprietor of the land, which is recorded on the Torrens title register. The registered proprietor is issued with a specific certificate of title for the property which contains a unique volume and folio number and a plan identifying the land, details of any restrictions (e.g., a covenant) affecting the land and details of any encumbrances (e.g. mortgage). Titles may comprise of land or spaces defined by a plan. Please see full Chapter below for more information.
- Establishing a Business Entity in Australia (Updated)
TYPES OF BUSINESS ENTITIES - There are a number of business structures to choose from when starting a new business venture in Australia. Investors need to determine which form of business organisation is the most appropriate for their requirements. The main types of business structures used by investors in Australia are: - companies, including branch offices of foreign companies; - partnerships; - joint ventures; and - trusts. Please see full Chapter below for more information.
- Bankruptcy, Insolvency & Rehabilitation Proceedings in Australia (Update)
This guide offers an overview of legal aspects of bankruptcy, insolvency, and rehabilitation in the requisite jurisdictions. It is meant as an introduction to these marketplaces and does not offer specific legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney client relationship, or its equivalent in the requisite jurisdiction.
- Snapshot of Australia’s renewable energy market
After many years of limited action on climate change, a change in federal government has seen Australia set a target to reduce emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. In its first budget the new federal government announced close to AUD25 billion of commitments to clean energy, which has been well received as a demonstration of its commitment to fast-track the decarbonisation of the economy. Please see Publication below for more information.
- Horizon scanning – regulatory developments in Australia
With the election outcome signalling a ‘climate mandate’ of some description, it’s likely that we will see renewed efforts to introduce enhanced climate disclosure and standardised reporting obligations to bring Australia in line with many other jurisdictions. Please see Publication below for more information.
- An Update on Insolvency in the Australian Construction Industry
The construction sector in Australia has long been affected by insolvency and broader liquidity issues. In the last year, construction companies accounted for 26% of businesses that entered into insolvency, and insolvencies in the construction sector more than doubled. This year, contractors have been further squeezed by inflation, supply chain issues and labour market shortages. As the federal government has wound back its COVID-19 economic stimulus packages, further collapses seem inevitable. Please see full Publication below for more information.
- Greater Penalties for Competition Breaches & Unfair Terms, Responsiveness to Super Complaints: The Labor Government's Approach to Competition & Consumer Laws
As the new Parliament prepares to sit, it is useful to consider the new Labor Government’s key focus areas for competition policy. These changes are intended to further strengthen consumer and small business rights and deter competition law breaches. Labor’s appointment of an economics professor, Dr Andrew Leigh, to Assistant Treasurer (with responsibilities for competition policy) signals its resolve to implement significant reforms to competition and consumer laws. The Labor Government has not yet commented specifically on its appetite for merger reforms. However, in line with its view that Australia has a “competition problem”, it may well support a stricter, mandatory merger clearance regime as was advocated by former ACCC Chair, Rod Sims. Only time will tell whether this is indeed the case. Please see full Publication below for more information.
- Greenwashing, Digital Advertising & Platform Issues, Financial Services & Consumer Guarantees: What the ACCC's 2022/23 Priorities Mean for Your Business
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has just published its compliance and enforcement priorities for FY 2022/23. For the first time, the ACCC has aligned its annual priorities to the financial year. It promises to be a significant year with the ACCC's leadership changing, with the baton soon to be passed from the outgoing Chair, Rod Sims (who has been at the ACCC's helm for over a decade), to the incoming and first female Chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, in late March 2022. To help businesses digest the implication of the ACCC's priorities quickly and efficiently in this unique paradigm, we have prepared a one page summary that highlights the ACCC's most pressing consumer and competition law priorities and key 'to do's' for businesses. The ACCC also continues to focus on enduring issues including cartel enforcement. Please see full Summary below for more information.
- Progress towards e-conveyancing
A new project has been launched designed to streamline conveyancing procedures through the use of an online system. The initiative is called ‘PEXA’ (Property Exchange Australia) and is projected to be operational nationwide in 2012. Electronic conveyancing will initially operate alongside...
- Award Modernisation – What Does It Mean For Your Business?
The Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) is currently undergoing the process of creating a set of modern awards based upon broad industries and occupations, which will replace several thousand existing federal and state awards. These awards will operate from 1 January 2010 and will...
- Domain-Name Rights: Pursue Them or Lose Them, Arbitrator Rules
Domain-name registrants who sit on their rights rather than go after trademark infringers do so at their peril. In a case decided last July, an arbitrator for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) held that a foreign registrant’s bad-faith registration and continued use of an...
- Investment Management in Australia
Asset managers are increasingly looking to Australia as a source of growth and as a gateway to the Asia Pacific region. This overview will assist managers navigate the Australian regulatory landscape. Financial Services Licensing The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)...
- ASX Issues "Code of Best Practice" for Reporting by Life Science Companies
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), after extensive industry consultation has just issued a revised "Code of Best Practice" for Reporting by Life Science Companies (Code). While adoption of the new Code is not mandatory, it provides a very useful tool for listed life sciences companies ...
- What Will the End of the Carbon Tax and Start of Carbon Trading Mean?
Draft legislation1 released on 25 July 2013 proposes terminating the carbon tax and bringing forward carbon emissions trading to July 2014. This article sets out some key features of what the move to carbon emissions trading will mean....
- Financial Services Under a New Liberal Government
What can the Financial Services Sector Expect from the New Federal Government? "Son of Wallis" Inquiry - The incoming Coalition government has committed to conducting a comprehensive "root and branch" inquiry into the banking and financial services sector regulatory framework. That...
- That's My Name, Don't Wear it Out!
The recent announcement that leading Australian fashion designer Alannah Hill has separated from the label that bears her name (while seeking to continue to work in the fashion industry), is yet another recent example of a "name" and a company parting ways. Another example of "brand separation"...
- Fair Work Commission Dismisses Unfair Dismissal Claim Involving False Bullying Allegations
In handing down its recent decision in Hunter v The Commonwealth of Australia, represented by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water Population and Communities  FWC 7917 (Hunter v Commonwealth), the Fair Work Commission (Commission) has ruled that an employee's dismissal was not ...
- Safety First – Spotlight on Mandatory Safety Standards
The recent case of Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria v Dimmeys Stores serves as a timely reminder to businesses of the importance of adhering to product safety standards prescribed by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL)....