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Author: Jason Papoutsis

Potts Lawyers > Articles posted by Jason Papoutsis

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Investigations – What you need to know

Introduction The Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (‘WHSQ’) is the regulator in Queensland responsible for monitoring compliance with the Work Health and Safety laws, including the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) (the ‘Act’) and conducting investigations into incidents that occur at workplaces in Queensland. After an incident occurs at a workplace, particularly an incident involving death, serious injury or illness or certain kinds of danger, there is a strong possibility that WHSQ will conduct an investigation at the workplace. The WHSQ appoint inspectors who have wide range of powers to conduct an investigation, ranging from making an unannounced visit at a...

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The Risks Inherent to Litigation, and How to Avoid Protracted Litigious Proceedings

By Jason Papoutsis What is Litigation? Litigation is the process of resolving legal disputes through the court system. Litigation can be initiated by either an individual or a corporation and involves the parties presenting their cases in a formal legal proceeding. Litigation typically involves the preparation of pleadings, the discovery of evidence, motion practice, and the presentation of evidence in court. The ultimate goal of litigation is to resolve the dispute and to obtain a judgment or verdict that is legally binding on the parties. Litigation can be a complex, time-consuming, and expensive process, and it is often advisable to consider alternative dispute...

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Workplace Investigations for Serious Misconduct

By: Jason Papoutsis    Workplace Investigations Generally A workplace investigation for misconduct refers to a process where an employer or an appointed third party investigates allegations of improper, unethical, or illegal behaviour by an employee in the workplace. The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether the misconduct took place, the extent of the misconduct, and who was responsible. This information is then used to make informed decisions about appropriate disciplinary action or other remedial measures. The alleged misconduct being investigated can range from harassment, discrimination, theft, fraud, and other forms of unethical behaviour. Misconduct can also involve allegations of failing to abide by the...

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What to do if you are served a Statutory Notice to Attend an Interview or Produce Documents or Information

By Jason Papoutsis Introduction A growing number of regulatory agencies in Queensland and Australia have statutory powers to compel a person to produce documents or attend an interview. First and foremost, failing to comply with these notices may amount to an offence.  It is therefore important to obtain legal advice if you are served with this type of notice. Depending on the enabling legislation, there may be an exemption to having to comply with that notice, for example, if a person has a ‘reasonable excuse’, or for any other reason stated in that legislation. Before a person decides whether or not they will comply...

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What Every Professional Needs to know About Occupational Disciplinary Law

What is Occupational Disciplinary Law? Occupational disciplinary law refers to the legal framework that governs the disciplinary actions that can be taken against workers in a specific occupation or industry. This framework typically outlines the standards of conduct expected of workers, the procedures for investigating allegations of misconduct, and the possible consequences for violations, such as suspension, termination, or revocation of a license. Occupational disciplinary law may also include provisions for procedural fairness, such as the right to respond to an allegation, the right to a hearing, and the right to review that decision in a Tribunal.   How is Occupational Disciplinary Law different...

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The role of the Briginshaw Principle in Workplace Investigations involving Serious Misconduct

What is the Briginshaw principle? The Briginshaw principle derives from Briginshaw v Briginshaw (1938) 60 CLR 336, which is an important case in the development of the common law, and it established several key principles that continue to be applied in many legal contexts, including workplace investigations. The Briginshaw principle does not change the standard of proof in workplace investigations but rather guides the decision-making process in assessing the evidence. Generally, the Briginshaw principle holds that when determining whether an allegation of misconduct is proved, the decision-maker must take into account the seriousness of the consequences of the finding, the seriousness of...

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ABC News Interviews Bill Potts on the Costly Dangers of Defamatory Social Media Posts

The ABC has recently published an article in relation to a Queensland woman who was ordered to pay $279,000 in damages to a couple she defamed in a Facebook group.  The matter was heard in the District Court in Townsville and the judgement was handed down on Friday 23 June 2023. The alleged post was only online for merely 90 minutes before it was taken down, and the publication alleged improper conduct towards a six-year-old child, and was ruled by Judge Coker as being “entirely improper, unjustifiable and lacking in bona fides where the defendant knew that the imputations contained within...

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Recent Changes to Health Practitioner Regulation Laws

Introduction The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 (Qld), was passed with amendment on 13 October 2022, which expands AHPRA’s functions and powers to regulate Australian health practitioners. According to AHPRA, the changes will be applied automatically in each state and territory – except in New South Wales and South Australia where those government will make a regulation to confirm the changes and in Western Australia where a corresponding amendment Bill will go through the WA parliamentary process. Overall, more than 800,000 health practitioners will be affected by the new changes to the legislation. What are the Changes?...

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  Recent Changes to QPS Weapons Licensing Unit Guidelines Since the introduction of new guidelines for the issuing of firearms in Queensland, Potts Lawyers has received a substantial increase in enquiries concerning: The cancellation of existing weapons licences; and The refusal of new weapons licence applications. Why is the QPS Weapons Licensing Unit Taking this Approach? In early 2021, the QPS adopted guidelines which results in automatic cancellation or rejection of firearms licences and applications, respectively.  We wrote an article on this topic last year which can be located here: The guidelines appear to be a response to a report published by the...

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QBCC Licence Applications and Fit and Proper Person Test

QBCC Licence Applications and Fit and Proper Person Test By Jason Papoutsis   Who needs a QBCC Licence? In Queensland, individuals require licences to work in the building and construction industry.  These licence applications are assessed by the Queensland Build and Construction Commission (“QBCC”). QBCC Licences are required for many trades, including but not limited to: Air handling duct installation Brick and segmental paving Bricklaying and blocklaying Builder (low rise, medium rise, open) Builder Restricted (shopfitting, structural landscaping, kitchen, bathroom, and laundry) Cabinet making Concreting Carpentry Fire Systems (Passive, water-based, and electrical based) Floor finishing and covering (hard sector) Foundation work (piling and...

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