Plain Language Law newsletter No. 109
February 2021
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Community legal education 

Managing Legal Risk with a Diverse Volunteer Workforce (Australia), 2021, [Webinar], Justice Connect
Volunteers contribute so much to the community, bringing with them a wealth of experience, values and backgrounds. As the manager of a team of volunteers, how do you make sure you’re harnessing this potential while maintaining a safe and legal volunteer program? This workshop-style webinar from Justice Connect will use practical case studies to highlight the kind of issues you need to consider to build and grow a successful and diverse volunteer workforce. This webinar will take place on Tuesday, 16 February, 12.45pm. Register
Understanding Unemployment Payments & Mutual Obligations (Australia), 2021, [Webinar], Welfare Rights Centre
This webinar session from the Welfare Rights Centre will provide an overview of all-things-mutual-obligations, including current COVID-19 arrangements and what to do if a person is threatened with a penalty or if payment is cut off. This webinar takes place on Wednesday, 17 February 2021 at 10am-12pm AEDT. Register
How to Handle a Conflict of Interest in Your Not-for-profit Organisation (Australia), 2021, [Webinar], Justice Connect
It’s inevitable that your not-for-profit organisation will encounter conflicts of interest along the way. In addition to the possible legal consequences, poorly managed conflicts of interest can lead to internal disputes, and can also have an impact on an organisation’s reputation. However, a conflict of interest doesn’t need to be a problem. This Justice Connect webinar will talk you through the basics of identifying and managing a conflict of interest including why conflicts of interest matter, how to deal with a conflict of interest and comply with the law, the consequences of failing to manage conflicts of interest, practical tips and further resources to assist your organisation. This webinar will take place on Tuesday, 9 March, 12.45pm. Register   
Domestic violence and Centrelink (Australia), 2021, [Webinar], Welfare Rights Centre
This session from the Welfare Rights Centre will outline income support available to victims and survivors of domestic violence, including Parenting Payment, JobSeeker Payment, Crisis Payment and Special Benefit. It will outline how to establish entitlement to payment, timeframes for claiming, residential qualifications, presumptions of shared income under the Member of a Couple rule, separation and ‘separation under one roof’. The session will tackle issues associated with demonstrating ‘care’ of children and removal of children by perpetrators which can impact both qualification and rate of payment. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, 9 March 2021 at 3-4pm AEDT. Register  
Social Security – Families and Children (Australia), 2021, [Webinar], Welfare Rights Centre
This session form the Welfare Rights Centre outlines Centrelink payments targeting families and children, including Parenting Payment, Family Tax Benefit, Parental Leave Pay, Dad and Partner Pay, Carer Payment and Child Care Subsidy. It will also cover other payments accessed by many parents such as JobSeeker Payment and Disability Support Pension. The speakers will address eligibility requirements, income and assets tests, mutual obligations relating to work, and the way that the number and age of children affects different payments. The session will explain how relationship status (single/partnered) affects payment and will outline Centrelink payments intended to support people trying to escape, or who have recently left, situations of domestic violence. It will also address how issues related to separation can have a major impact, particularly child support and the amount of time a child is in the care of each parent. This webinar will take place on Wednesday, 21 April 2021 at 3-5pm. Register
Social Security for Seniors (Australia), 2021, [Webinar], Welfare Rights Centre
This session from the Welfare Rights Centre will address the differences between Age Pension, Carer Payment, Carer Allowance, Carer Supplement and Bereavement Allowance, including factors to consider if a person is able to choose between different payments and how to transfer to Age Pension from another payment. It will cover Rent Assistance, the Pension Loan Scheme, the Energy Supplement and other Centrelink crisis payments. It will also outline different concession cards including the Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card, and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. This webinar will take place on Thursday, 20 May 2021 at 10am-12pm. Register
How to Spot a Social Security Issue and What to do Next (Australia), 2021, [Webinar], Welfare Rights Centre
Hosted by the Welfare Rights Centre, this session will give attendees the tools to identify a social security problem, including those masked by other pressing or complex issues. It will provide an overview of social security and family assistance rules, payments and Centrelink's administrative process, and will also outline common social security issues. The session will outline the kinds of questions to ask to get to the key legal issues and work through the best approach to resolve, including how to support client’s interactions with Centrelink and how to make targeted referrals to Welfare Rights Centre. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, 8 June 2021 at 3-5pm. Register
Starting a Not-for-profit Organisation (Australia), 2020, [Webinar recording], Justice Connect
This introductory webinar recording from Justice Connect covers how to set up and register a not-for-profit organisation, which legal structure is best and whether to incorporate. Watch

Guides to the law

Preventing workplace sexual harassment, violence and aggression (Australia), 2021, [Guidance resources], Safe Work Australia
New national work health and safety guidance has been developed by Safe Work Australia. The new resources provide practical guidance to businesses to help them prevent workplace sexual harassment, violence, aggression and domestic violence. Under Australia’s model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws, employers must proactively manage risks to health and safety arising from work. This includes both physical and mental health. The new information provides guidance to anyone who has a WHS duty to protect the health and safety of workers. Access the resources here

Law for Community Workers on the go: Hard Conversations 3 (NSW), 2021, [Podcast episode], Legal Aid NSW
‘Hard Conversations’ is a short series exploring the complexity of elder abuse. Throughout this series, you will hear from lots of different people about their understanding of elder abuse, the ways they think about it in their communities and how we can start to address it together. Listen to the podcast here 

Housing News Digest (NSW), 2021, [Newsletter], Tenants’ Union of NSW
The newly launched Housing News Digest compiles a pick of stories from all the latest tenancy and housing media. It is sent every Monday and Thursday at 10am.
Visit the website »

Understanding strata by-laws (NSW), 2021, [Factsheet], Marrickville Legal Centre
All strata schemes have by-laws which strata owner-occupiers and tenants should be up to date with. Marrickville Legal Centre’s statewide Strata Collective Sales Advocacy Service have broken down strata law to explain what these are and who they apply to. Access the factsheet here

Factsheets from Legal Aid NSW in relation to COVID-19

Legal Aid NSW has produced a range of resources and collated resources from other Government departments to assist individuals affected by legal issues during COVID-19. A range of factsheets about COVID-19 and the law are available on the Legal Aid NSW website. These factsheets may be useful for sharing with your colleagues or with clients who are seeking clarification about the Public Health Orders or other everyday legal problems during the pandemic.
  • Public Health Orders
  • Courts, police and crime
  • Domestic violence
  • Families, relationships and children
  • Government, social security and rights
  • Housing and tenancy
  • Jobs and employment
  • Money, debt and fines
  • Practitioner resources
  • Resources from other government organisations
The full suite of Legal Aid NSW factsheets can be found at the COVID-19 resource hub
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About this newsletter

This newsletter is produced by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW with assistance from the Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) at the State Library of NSW. 
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© Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, 2021.
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