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Belinda Hapgood

LLB (Hons), Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations - Queensland Law Society

Special Counsel - Brisbane

Areas of Expertise

Workplace Relations & Safety, Regulatory, Royal Commissions & Commissions of Inquiry

Expertise

Belinda is one of Queensland’s foundation Accredited Specialists in Workplace Relations and has practiced exclusively in the field for over twenty years. Belinda is highly experienced in advising on public sector discrimination and workers’ compensation claims.

Belinda assisted the State of Queensland in its response to the first Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry (Cole Royal Commission). She also appeared as the instructing solicitor in two coronial inquests and has defended workplace health and safety prosecutions and workplace drug testing challenges for the mining industry.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Belinda provided specialist advice to clients on the varied issues regarding workplace relations arising out of changes to the Fair Work Act.

Belinda has been recognised in the 2020-2022 Doyle’s Guide as a recommended employment lawyer (employee representation).

Experience

Employment law

  • appearing before the Fair Work Commission and Federal and Circuit Court of Australia as advocate for applicants and respondents to claims of unfair dismissal, adverse action, general protections matters, stop bullying orders and applications in the general disputes jurisdiction 
  • appearing before QCAT and QIRC in matters arising within the jurisdiction of those particular tribunals including workers’ compensation and workplace discrimination matters
  • advice concerning applicability of various State Government workplace directives to particular workforces
  • consideration of issues arising out of actual and prospective transmission of business scenarios
  • advice concerning responses required to whistleblower complaints and assisting parties to make their own public interest disclosures
  • advising business on obligations arising out of Covid-19 pandemic including stand downs, downsizing, JobKeeper, vaccination mandates and WFH and development of policies and processes to support these changes
  • assessment of contents of payslips for compliance with ATO requirements and preparation of submissions in support of superannuation underreporting to mitigate statutory penalties.

Industrial relations

  • advice concerning appointment of delegate and consideration of Notice of Employee Representational Rights for initiating of bargaining process
  • preparation and instructing in a trial in the Fair Work Commission concerning the method of drug testing adopted by an employer which was the subject of challenge to managerial prerogative as an unreasonable intrusion into employee privacy.

Investigations and privacy

  • acting as independent investigator (instructed by their legal representatives) to investigate workplace related complaints on matters such as workplace bullying, sexual harassment, unlawful conduct and financial mismanagement
  • advice concerning application of Information Privacy Act to operation of various business activities
  • preparation and processing of Right to Information Applications including third party consultation with impacted parties.


Regulatory responses

  • assisting in the response to the NSW Ombudsman concerning a public interest disclosure on behalf of a government agency
  • assisting an employer of health practitioners manage the reporting obligations arising to AHPRA as a result of disclosure of employee conduct matters
  • appearing before the Queensland College of Teachers concerning teacher registration matters.

Workplace health and safety

  • representing a defended complaint concerning a workplace fatality 
  • assisting in preparation of response to industrial inspector arising out of workplace notifiable incidents
  • preparation of material in support of arguments of legal professional privilege in the context of a safety prosecution.

Workplace management

  • conducting training on behalf of the Queensland Teachers’ Union to teachers across Queensland on professional behaviours and conduct matters
  • preparation and presentation of workplace training on matters such as workplace bullying, Fair Work Act changes and statutory decision making.

Upcoming Seminars