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Mental Health and Employment Law Conference 2023

Shaping a new era of wellbeing in the workplace

Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra & Online

Melbourne and Canberra 28th July - Now Online.

Mental Health is one of the fastest growing sources of injuries at work, but employers are often in the dark about how best to ensure their workplaces are safe for their staff, how to support them if and when mental health concerns emerge- and their legal and ethical obligations in these circumstances.

How do we tackle mental health in the workplace?

Mental Health Mindfields is the first in a series of Conferences dealing with mental Health issues in the workplace. This program has been designed in partnership with clinical and legal experts who will set out the mental health claims landscape, as well as provide clinical guidance on how mental health issues can best be prevented, identified, and managed in the workplace by managers, co-workers and the executive.

We will be joined by senior legal practitioners who specialise in mental health matters. They will also update you on the latest case law and what it means for your legal obligations and responsibilities.

Conference highlights:

  • The day will provide the delegates with a legal understanding of the obligations of employers and co-workers which is another critical part of the Mental Health at Work puzzle and would not be complete without an introduction to the legal considerations employers need to bear in mind.
  • Since Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is emerging as a particularly complex issue for employers, the program will include a special session on what that looks like, both clinically and legally.
  • The day will consist of a series of expert presentations, followed by facilitated panel discussions where audience questions can be put to the experts.
  • We will conclude with a hypothetical workplace scenario, where the legal, clinical and HR aspects of managing a mental illness will be brought together and explored by our expert panellists.

Who should attend?

HR practitioners, Lawyers, People and Culture Officers, C-level Stakeholders

For more information, please email us at eventsanz@thomsonreuters.com or call us +61 2 9171 9768.

Date & Location

Sydney & livestream:
Thursday, 29th June 2023
Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel
30 Pitt St, Circular Quay

Melbourne & Canberra:
Friday, 28th July 2023
Livestream Online


Registration: 8.30am - 9.00am AEST
Conference: 9.00am - 4.00pm AEST


Face to face:
[ Early bird ] $675 + GST*
[ Full price ] $775 + GST

[ Early bird ] $535 + GST*
[ Full price ] $635 + GST

6 CPD points

* Save $100. Early bird closes 1st June 2023


The Honourable Pru Goward

Dr Mark Deady
Senior Research Fellow
Black Dog Institute

Jonathan Cohen
Taylor Fry

John Rodney
Special Council
K&L Gate

Enterprise Professor Nicole Sadler
Head of Policy and Practice
Phoenix Australia

Michael Plowright
Working Well Together

Michael Byrnes

Event agenda


Welcome Address by the Chair
The Honourable Pru Goward, AO


Mental Health: The compensation iceberg

  • - Nature and frequency of mental injury in the workplace
  • - How it has changed in the past decade
  • - Primary and Secondary mental injuries
  • - Impacts of mental injury on return to work and compensation outcomes

Dr Jonathan Cohen, PHD, Principal, Taylor Fry


What should workplaces be doing to support workers experiencing mental ill health

  • - What constitutes mental health and mental health disorder
  • - What are the critical risk factors

Dr Mark Deady, Senior Research Fellow, Black Dog Institute


Mental Health and Employment Law

  • - The legal framework – State and Federal discrimination laws and the Fair Work Act.
  • - The dangers of assumptions. The importance of evidence.
  • - Reasonable Adjustments in the Workplace
  • - Managing absence due to mental health issues
  • - Managing performance and discipline
  • - Creating an environment that minimises the risk of claims

Michael Byrnes, Partner, Swaab


Morning tea


Panel Session
What would you do if


Mark Deady, Jonathan Cohen, Michael Byrnes




Practical Strategies for the workplace:

  • - How to identify and manage PTSD

Michael Plowright, Founder, Working Well Together


PTSD - Psycho Social Injury and Risk to Health and Safety

  • - What are the obligations of Employers, Directors, Managing Directors and Office Holders.
  • - What types of employees are most vulnerable and how do I identify them

John Rodney
, Special Counsel, K & L Gates


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the workplace:

- Prevention

  • - Management
  • - Recovery

Enterprise Professor Nicole Sadler, Head of Policy and Practice, Phoenix Australia


Hypothetical Case Situation: 
Explore how to respond to the occurancy of a mental health episode to ensure the best outcome for the employee , the company and co-workers


Michael Plowright, John Rodney, Nicole Sadler


Close of Conference by Chair
The Honourable Pru Goward,