Workplace bullying, payday lending and the impact of taxes on the environment will be among the issues scrutinised at the 2015 Business Law Symposium in Brisbane on Monday (Nov 2).

‘Insolvency and Tax: Smoke and Mirrors’ is the symposium’s theme and will be addressed by Associate Professor Helen Anderson from the University of Melbourne in her keynote presentation.

“She will explore the unique dual roles of the Australian Tax Office, both as a creditor recovering unpaid taxes and as a regulator enforcing taxation laws,” says Dr Jenny Dickfos of Griffith Business School which is hosting the day-long event at its South Bank campus.

The third staging of the annual symposium is supported this year by the Insolvency and Restructuring arm of QUT’s Commercial and Property Law Research Centre, and by two industry-leading firms, Worrells Solvency + Forensic Accountants and Dickfos Dunn Chartered Accountants.

Michael Murray, Fellow of the QUT Commercial Property Law Research Centre, will provide an assessment of the ATO in dealing with taxpayers leading up to an insolvency appointment and its conduct as a creditor in the ensuring liquidation or bankruptcy.

“The symposium also provides an opportunity to showcase the breadth of important research activities undertaken by business law academics at Griffith Business School,” Dr Dickfos said.

Among these will be a presentation by lecturer Ben French who has examined the impact of the Fair Work Act on workplace bullying in Australia.

“Workplace bullying represents a significant compliance and wellbeing challenge to workplaces,” he said. “Changes in Australia’s legal framework in relation to bullying will only amplify these challenges.”

The emergence and practice of payday lending in Australia will be assessed by Dr Pelma Rajapakse, who will present a critical analysis of the policies, laws and governmental agencies potentially involved in regulating payday lending.

“This will include an analysis of the characteristics of payday lending, the typical borrowers that access this form of credit and the regulatory landscape governing the payday lending industry,” she said.

Further presentations will cover the environmental impact of taxes with a focus on Australia’s luxury car tax, and a comparative study of patenting human genetic material and bioethics.