Sian is an Accredited Specialist in Employment and Industrial Relations, and a leading Work Health and Safety lawyer. She is known for her high level of technical skills, efficiency and strong client relationships.
Sian advises insurers, financial institutions and government employers on EPL matters, spanning WHS prosecutions, general protections disputes, sexual harassment claims and unfair dismissals. She has been on-site in the immediate aftermath of workplace accidents, has advised clients through investigations and has represented clients in both trials and coronial inquiries. She also advises on contract and management disputes, including applications for injunctive relief involving contractual restraints.
Sian conducts investigations regarding employee disputes and grievances, as well as workplace training on topics including employment law, discrimination and work health and safety. She also regularly presents at Local Government NSW seminars.
Work Health & Safety
- SafeWork NSW v Assign Blue Pty Limited: Sian successfully represented the defendant in this matter, which resulted in a landmark decision that was handed down on 7 December 2020. It clarifies, for the first time under harmonised legislation, the differing obligations of a labour hire company compared to a host employer. These are critical distinctions, particularly in high risk industries.
- Crown v Schwing: This matter involved the first ever category 1 charges laid under harmonised legislation. In this case, both a company and its employed engineer were charged with recklessness causing death. All charges were dismissed after an extensive investigation, led by Sian’s defence team, which ultimately demonstrated that the prosecution’s case was flawed as it failed to investigate manufacturing defects.
- Working with a significant marine engineering client, including representing the client in a lengthy WHS prosecution following a traumatic workplace incident.
- Providing training up to Board level on WHS compliance.
Sexual Harassment & Discrimination
- Sian was one of the first practitioners in Australia to conduct litigation around both the right to be free from discrimination at work and flexible workplace practices.
- Sian is regularly engaged to prepare and deliver training programs, up to Board level, which are focused on equal employment opportunities and the elimination of all forms of discrimination in employment.
- Adcock v Blackmores: Sian and her team defended the industrial rights of health giant, Blackmores, which sought to redeploy employees before proceeding to redundancy. Blackmores’ decision to explore all possible options for redeployment, before proceeding to termination, was ultimately upheld by the Federal Court, as being the lawful and reasonable course.
- Representing a leading employer in mining, including dealing with issues ranging from employment contracts through to safety compliance.
- Working with a number of government agencies, including local government, to address industrial relations issues within the context of specific regulatory requirements.
- Employment Practices Liability
- Inquiries, Investigations + Prosecutions
- Workplace Health + Safety
- Australian Insurance Law Association
- Law Society of NSW
- Accredited Specialist in Employment and Industrial Relations
- Construction + Infrastructure
- Financial Institutions + Services
- Healthcare + Pharmaceutical
- Not for Profit
- Public Sector + Education
- Sports, Leisure + Entertainment