Fairness in the Workplace: Accusations and Liability Part 1.
Part 1 – Fairness across the board in workplace accusations and corporate liability.
Queensland has passed the Directors Liability Reform Amendment 2013 Act (Qld) on 16 October. Prior to the Bill being passed, Queensland had more than 100 laws which contained liability offence provisions. This excessive red tape surrounding the issue of corporate liability not only created confusion regarding the ruling, but such complexity made it difficult for corporate officials to determine the law.
This Act should be examined by anyone in a position of power that is exposed to possible implications, providing a much more decisive foreground for where you may now stand.
Following all the public submissions and whole of government review, the Act pushed for uniformity across all Australian jurisdictions in the reduction of legal provisions to provide a clear understanding, across the board, of where directors sit in regards to liability.
This Act deals with the intrinsic issue of directors being held liable for corporate wrong doings. The past issue of a reversed onus of proof has been a huge player in obscuring directors’ understanding of the law. As seen in the proposed Bill and many of the old laws prior to their amendment was this impetus that was the reversed onus of proof. Essentially, the removal of this clause has reverted the system back to the original common law groundings, where the person being claimed against is innocent until proven otherwise.
Prior to its removal, directors essentially had to prove their innocence by having to answer for all of a plaintiff’s accusations. This removal has simply reversed this clause. The plaintiff has to please the courts by providing a strong enough case to stand, not go to trial based upon accusations.
If you hold a position of power within a company you should take advice and gain an understanding of this fundamental change. See our commercial team at West End to review your position at any time.