Amanda is an experienced employment lawyer, workplace investigator and consultant to the public and private sector. She also has complementary qualifications and experience in psychology and social welfare. Her welfare work has included work with the Department of Juvenile Justice (NSW) and work with children at risk in out of home care placement services. Amanda has performed investigations for State Government Departments and advised on reporting obligations to the NSW Ombudsman and Office of the Children’s Guardian, and considered and provided recommendations on Working with Children checks that contain notifications.
As a lawyer, Amanda has comprehensive experience of workplace and industrial issues in both private and government sectors, including disciplinary investigations, investigation of discrimination, bullying and harassment allegations, workplace cultural assessment and the interpretation, application and development of performance management disciplinary policy and procedure. Amanda has particular skill in investigation and risk management work involving technology, such as employee fraud and theft of confidential information and intellectual property, or allegations that involve internet, email or social media use.
She has experience working with a range of employers, including small to medium enterprise, insurers, multi-national corporate and State and Federal Government agencies, across all industries. Amanda can provide both a commercial and legal perspective on the PR sensitive strategic management of investigations, terminations and exit strategy, with the objective of minimising employee distress, any damage to workplace culture and damage to reputation. Where circumstances of a direct investigation brief permit and advice is required regarding the risk of litigation, clients will be able to consider engagement of Amanda in a legal capacity for risk assessment.
Amanda also advises on director’s duties, conduct and board behaviour. She is a volunteer director of Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW.
Amanda has worked as an employment, industrial and safety lawyer for Clayton Utz, Lander & Rogers and Coleman Greig, and in her own sole practice each firm providing services on a number of State and Federal Government department panels.
RECENT INVESTIGATION EXAMPLES
- Misconduct investigation of an employee of a department delivering health care and subject to mandatory reporting obligations. The employee had been charged with possession of child pornography. The employee was employed in a role with the potential to provide health care to children, and the report was prepared with consideration of ongoing risk to children and the client’s reporting obligations. At interview, Amanda was able to elicit admissions from the employee that had not been made to Police.
- Preliminary Investigation into allegations of child abuse made by the father (employed by a department with mandatory reporting obligations) against the stepfather of 3 children (also employed by another agency within the same department). A report was prepared which assessed any need to investigate the subject of the complaint for misconduct, also reporting on required matters for the NSW Ombudsman. Evidence was obtained that was sufficient to conclude that the allegations were malicious and vexatious.
- Preliminary Investigation into complaints of bullying and harassment by management of a Federal Government department, with complex issues including organisational change and a protracted period of both absence and performance management issues.
- Misconduct Investigation for State Government with two subjects and comprehensive regulation and procedure in relation to both the conduct of and the subject matter of the investigation. Issues of privacy, confidentiality and inappropriate conduct of a senior manager toward a subordinate employee. Investigation resulted in a demotion and relocation of one employee and dismissal of another, with both remaining unchallenged.
- Supervision and management of disciplinary process with risk advice. Allegations involved a director and two senior staff. Computer forensics were required and uncovered a conspiracy between the subjects to provide sensitive company business information to a competitor involved in merger and then acquisition discussions. Managed the disciplinary and decision making processes, interpretation of forensic reporting and dismissal, with deeds of release to manage risk.
OTHER RELEVANT PROJECTS
- Delivery of training presentations and workshops on appropriate workplace behaviour, new policy, workplace investigations and performance. Amanda has also guided employers in BYOD device policy and risk exposure as a result of emerging technology, particularly the theft of intellectual property.
Bachelor of Arts (Social Psychology)
Grad Dip Psychology
Bachelor of Laws
Master of Labour Law & Relations
CERTIFICATION and MEMBERSHIPS:
Law Society of NSW
Australian Institute of Company Directors