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Belinda Copley

Special Counsel
Fax +61.7.3233.0900

Ms. Copley has more than 10 years' experience in providing a comprehensive advisory service on all areas of employment law to corporate and public sector clients.

Ms. Copley works with clients to manage employment issues in a range of industries, including professional services, mining, construction and pharmaceutical. Ms. Copley provides sustainable and strategic advice which is focused on addressing employment issues in a proactive and commercial manner.

Ms. Copley is a nationally accredited Workplace Trainer and Assessor and has a particular interest in delivering workplace training. She is also an experienced workplace investigator and conducts complex and large scale workplace investigations.

Professional Background

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Ms. Copley worked for a Sydney based boutique employment law firm.

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Copley is a nationally accredited Workplace Trainer and Assessor and regularly presents seminars and training on a broad range of employment related issues. Ms. Copley delivers workplace training as part of clients' induction processes to senior management teams on various topics, including appropriate workplace behaviour, workplace investigations, the role of a contact officer, managing ill and injured workers and performance management for managers.
  • Providing commercial and sustainable 'sounding board' advice to human resources practitioners regarding performance management and discipline, termination of employment, bullying and harassment, requests for flexible working arrangements and the management of ill and injured workers.
  • Conducting a large scale workplace investigation for a New South Wales university into allegations of bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation.
  • Conducting and managing confidential investigations into complaints of sexual harassment for two ASX listed entities against their CEOs and advising on associated matters, including public relations, disclosure obligations and appropriate communication strategies.
  • Conducting workplace investigations in the manufacturing, mining, pharmaceutical and insurance industries into allegations of bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination, victimisation, serious misconduct and other breaches of employer policies.
  • Assisting clients in relation to their own inhouse investigations, settling investigation reports, advising on concurrent police investigations and managing anonymous complaints made via internal whistleblower mechanisms.
  • Advising and representing clients in respect of unfair dismissal claims in the Fair Work Commission and in state jurisdictions.
  • Defending a claim for unpaid leave entitlements in the Fair Work Division (Small Claims) of the Federal Circuit Court for a logistics provider.
  • Advising and representing clients in respect of discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation claims in the Australian Human Rights Commission and in state discrimination tribunals and commissions, including:
    • defending claims of marital status and disability discrimination in employment against a secondary education provider
    • defending claims of disability discrimination in employment against a medical laboratory and pathology service
    • defending claims of vicarious liability for sexual harassment against a disability service provider
    • defending claims of race discrimination in employment on the basis of Aboriginality against a leading contract mining and mine services provider.
  • Advising and representing clients in respect of adverse action claims in the Fair Work Commission, including:
    • defending claims of adverse action relating to requests for flexible working arrangements and complaints under the Work, Health and Safety Act (Cth) 2011 and the Workers Compensation Act (NSW) 1987 against an international restaurant chain
    • defending claims of adverse action relating to the taking of paid personal/carer's leave against an international property and infrastructure group
    • defending claims of adverse action relating to age based discrimination and performance management processes against a leading research based healthcare company.
  • Advising clients on independent contractor arrangements, defending claims for unpaid superannuation and other employee entitlements and drafting independent contractor agreements.
  • Assisting clients in respect of Fair Work Ombudsman investigations into underpayment and Award/industrial instrument compliance issues. 
  • Advising clients on redundancy issues and strategy, including consultation obligations, redeployment issues and termination entitlements. 
  • Developing bespoke training programs and delivering a range of workplace training sessions to employees, contact officers, managers and senior management teams to assist with minimising corporate and personal liability for inappropriate workplace behaviours and exposure to allegations of bullying and harassment.
  • Delivering regular appropriate workplace behaviour training as part of the internal induction sessions of clients in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, retail and professional services industries.
  • Drafting employment policies, including in relation to drug and alcohol testing, bonuses and other variable compensation schemes, corporate paid parental leave schemes, diversity policies, social media policies and policies relating to flexible work.
  • Drafting and reviewing employment contracts, executive service contracts, secondment agreements and variation letters.
  • Advising on the risks and issues arising from the re-engagement of redundant employees as contractors following the termination of their employment for reason of redundancy.
  • Implementing global directives to vary local bonus plans and policies.
  • Managing complex performance management processes through to termination with concurrent complaints of bullying, adverse action and discrimination.