Agenda - Employment Law Masterclass New Zealand



9:10 am
9:20 am

Work in a COVID world: Navigating a new era of workplace arrangements

2022 brings with it a fundamentally different working environment as we continue to battle COVID restrictions as well as ongoing constraints on talent and resourcing. This session will discuss: 

  • Managing residual vaccination issues, including variations and dismissals; 
  • What organisations need to think about in structuring their workforce to ensure talent is secured and retained; and 
  • What are the challenges to alternative working models, such as gig workers and remote workforces and how to meet these challenges. 
June Hardacre

Partner, MinterEllisonRuddWatts

10:00 am
10:05 am

Fair Pay Agreements – what has changed?

Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) are set to change the workplace landscape in New Zealand, introducing industrywide pay deals that set minimum standards for employees and employers. What do employers need to know about FPAs?  

  • The differences between FPAs and collective agreements 
  • When can FPA negotiations be triggered by unions? 
  • Managing a 'mixed workplace' governed by a collective employment agreement (CEA) and individual employment agreements (lEAs) 
  • Who is covered by the new FPAs?
Rebecca Rendle

Partner, Simpson Grierson

10:35 am
10:50 am

Sexual misconduct: Summary dismissal and serious misconduct

While companies are increasingly strengthening their stand against sexual misconduct, HR teams need to ensure that the investigation, disciplinary and termination process is fair and rigorous for all parties. In cases of serious misconduct, especially involving sexual allegations, the stakes are high, and there is no room for error. 

  • How to investigate sexual misconduct allegations
  • When is summary dismissal legally justified?
  • The role of a support person in a disciplinary meeting relating to misconduct 
  • Fair and reasonable processes and reasons relating to dismissal 
  • The difference between misconduct and serious misconduct in a sexual context   
  • Minimising the risk of personal grievance claims for unjustifiable dismissal, discrimination, harassment or any other action 
Kathryn McKinney

Partner, Anthony Harper

11:30 am
11:35 am

Employee discipline when mental health is at risk

HR teams around the world have long understood the devastating impact of disciplinary proceedings on an employee’s mental health. How should HR teams balance the competing obligations to support their employees’ mental health and at the same time maintain performance standards? And how can an employer ensure that it is not at fault? 

  • Requesting medical evidence of mental health conditions
  • How to prevent psychological harm caused by performance management discussions
  • When is medical retirement an option for employees with serious mental health conditions?
  • When is an employer at fault in the case of employee stress and mental health conditions?   
Andy Bell

Partner, Lane Neave

12:20 pm
1:00 pm

Redundancies – what employers need to know

Employers should tread carefully when making roles redundant. Join us for an end-to-end guide to employee redundancies, from selection to consultation, termination and payment.  

  • Legally defensible criteria for selecting employees for redundancy
  • Consultation obligations of employers prior to making redundancies
  • How much notice is required for employees whose roles are redundant?
Liz Coats

Partner, Bell Gully

1:45 pm

Who’s the boss: The legalities of triangular working arrangements

Employers who engage in triangular employment arrangements (like labour-for-hire arrangements) need to be mindful of their obligations and risks relating to personal grievances. How should HR professionals process personal grievance claims from employees, and who is ultimately responsible for maintaining HR compliance in this context? 

  • Triangular work arrangements (controlling third parties and the 'real' employer) 
  • Managing risk and minimising issues 
  • Personal grievance claims in triangular work arrangements 
Kylie Dunn

Partner, Russell McVeagh

2:25 pm
2:40 pm

Holidays Act update – from ambiguity to clarity

Recent changes to the Holidays Act promise to bring clarity to entitlements, holidays and leave. This session will provide a comprehensive overview of the changes and what they mean for New Zealand employers. 

  • New entitlements to bereavement leave, family violence leave and sick leave
  • Changes to payment for employees returning from parental leave  
  • Simplified annual leave payment calculations - 'ordinary pay' and 'average earnings' calculation methodology 
  • The new Ordinary Leave Pay calculation methodology explained 
  • Can a bonus ever be a ‘discretionary payment’ under the Holidays Act? 
  • Lessons from Metropolitan Glass & Glazing Ltd v Labour Inspector 
  • What if a bereavement occurs while an employee is on annual leave? 
Helen Pryde

Senior Associate, Duncan Cotterill

3:25 pm

Discipline and termination: lessons from the Employment Court

One of New Zealand’s most prominent lawyers discusses the key takeaways from the most influential cases of the last 12 months. 

  • How have judges been ruling on termination cases? 
  • Trends in employee compensation rulings
  • Lessons from the recent Employment Court decisions in QDA v EKD and Waitoa v MSD
Sherridan Cook

Partner, Buddle Findlay

4:00 pm

Q&A: Addressing additional concerns in employment law

In this interactive session, delegates will have the opportunity to ask the speaker questions relating to various employment law concerns.  

Sherridan Cook

Partner, Buddle Findlay

4:20 pm
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