32nd Annual Industrial and Employment Relations Summit (IER)

Leading a modernised workforce in changing regulatory tides

Event Details


Opening remarks from the Chair
Susan Hornsby-Geluk, Managing Partner, Dundas Street Employment Lawyers
Ministerial Address

Hear insight into the new Government’s plans for areas impacting businesses, employers and employment relations.

Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, Minister for ACC, Immigration, Workplace Relations & Safety & Deputy Leader of the House
Keynote Address - The impact of employment law changes on business and industry

What you need to know about new employment law reforms so you can plan to prepare and position your ER policies for compliance.

  • Analysing employment law changes foreshadowed by the new Government
  • Critically examining how these will impact NZ business
  • Highlighting and explaining any new obligations and responsibilities to minimise disruption and de-risk your organisation
Kirk Hope, Chief Executive, BusinessNZ
Employers’ Panel - The practical application of new employment law reforms

The employers’ panel will discuss the new Government’s significant reforms and the changes in their workplaces that Industrial and Employment Relations Managers need to be aware of.

  • How do the new reforms translate into practice?
  • Is the further reform being taken care of in other ways?
  • Highlighting successful strategies to work within the new reforms
Sean Williams, Director‚ Employment Relations and Mediation Coordinator - People & Organisation, Auckland University of Technology
Andre Lubbe, Head of Employment Relations, Auckland Council
Julie Simpson, GM People Experience and Employment Relations, The Warehouse Group
Morning break
Rebalancing for fairness and productive workplaces - the Union’s perspective

The new Government is proposing to restore various union rights and improve access to the workplace for their representatives.

  • How the new government’s proposed reforms will impact workforces and unions
  • What the changes mean for the New Zealand workforce
  • How unions and employers will work together for winwin solutions
Erin Polaczuk, National Secretary, Public Service Association
Thoughts on ER from the Employment Relations Authority
  • Looking into lessons from recent cases and developments with the ERA
  • Understanding Authority investigation meetings
  • Highlighting the levels of compensation that are being awarded
  • Discussing access to justice - price and access to services
Vicki Campbell, Authority Member, Employment Relations Authority
Lunch break
Effective collective bargaining and union engagement

For the first time in 17 years, significant changes to employment laws are planned which will impact most in the area of collective bargaining. Join our expert to discuss what the changes are and how this will impact bargaining and union engagement in practice.

  • How is the law changing and what are the key impacts
  • What are Fair Pay Agreements and how will they be negotiated
  • How to ensure effective communication during the bargaining process
  • Practical strategies for engaging with unions effectively
  • Strategies for how to get things back on track when they fall apart
  • Key issues in respect of strikes and lockouts
  • Preference, discrimination and passing on claims
Susan Hornsby-Geluk, Managing Partner, Dundas Street Employment Lawyers
Table Talks

Delegates will be asked to discuss important issues they are facing in regards to the changing laws surrounding employment relations.

TOPIC ONE: What is the biggest impact the changing employment relations laws have had on your workplace, and how are you working to resolve them?

TOPIC TWO: What are your best practice strategies for dealing with employment investigations at work?

Afternoon break
Examining the latest gains in pay equity and equal pay
  • Understanding the ground-breaking Bartlett v Terranova case
  • The recommendations from the joint working group in November 2016
  • Exploring the implications of the reforms the government is introducing
Steph Dyhrberg, Partner, Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law
Holidays Act 2003 - the ugly stuff

Numerous employers have been caught up in MBIE audits, including government agencies.

  • Reviewing the key traps in the Holidays Act 2003
  • What key steps can be taken to avoid the risk of noncompliance?
  • The new MBIE working group guidelines on annual holiday entitlements - do they help or hinder?
Charlotte Parkhill, Partner, Dentons Kensington Swan
Greg Cain, Partner, Dentons Kensington Swan
Summary remarks from the Chair and networking drinks
Susan Hornsby-Geluk, Managing Partner, Dundas Street Employment Lawyers
Welcome back from the Chair
Jennifer Mills, Director - Head of Practice, Jennifer Mills & Associates
The revitalisation of health and safety in the workplace
  • Highlighting the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and it’s new higher penalties
  • Understanding how the latest case law precedents have been interpreting the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and how this affects your workplace
  • Looking into the due diligence obligation for duty holders
  • Examining the term ‘enforceable undertaking’
Grant Nicholson, Partner, Anthony Harper
Examining guidelines for restructuring
  • Explaining the legal requirements for restructuring your business
  • Strategies to manage the process and mitigate legal risk
  • Examining the latest case law precedents and explaining what you need to know
Jim Roberts, Partner, Hesketh Henry
Morning break

Chaired by: Jennifer Mills, Anthony Harper, Steph Dyhrberg, Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law

Deploying successful full and final settlement agreements
  • Highlighting s149 Employment Relations Act 2000
  • Examining how to draft a full and final settlement agreement
  • Understanding the different types of payments that can be awarded
  • Discussing restraint of trade clauses
  • Looking into the case law where full and final settlement agreements have been reopened
Tim Clarke, Partner, Bell Gully
Successfully managing drug, alcohol and other addiction issues in the workplace
  • Understanding your obligations around testing and processes
  • Practical strategies and tactics for dealing with employee drug issues
  • Examining the case law precedents and understanding their implications
Amanda Douglas, Partner, Wynn Williams
Difficult practical redundancy issues and how to deal with them
  • Is it redundancy or just a legitimate change in role/hours/location?
  • Deciding on the pool - is the role a unique role or does it need to be pooled with other similar roles in the same or other locations?
  • Redeployment - what is the obligation when other vacant roles exist in the same or other locations?
  • Selection criteria, best practice, minimising risk and selecting in vs selecting out
  • Dealing with employees on parental leave
Jessie Lapthorne, Partner, Duncan Cotterill
Understanding the new laws on availability provisions, secondary employment and shift cancellations
  • Outlining when availability provisions should be included in employment agreements, and understanding the Full Employment Court judgment in Fraser v  McDonalds Restaurants
  • Understanding when secondary employment restrictions can be placed on employees
  • Looking into the restrictions on the cancellation of shifts
Sherridan Cook, Partner, Buddle Findlay
Lunch break
Managing restraints of trade, privacy and confidential information
  • How to protect confidential information and intellectual property
  • Questions that you can’t ask your current or prospective employees
  • Looking into the legality of restraint of trade agreements in the technological age
  • Discussing the law and case law precedents employers need to be aware of
Gillian Service, Partner, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts
Managing medical incapacity issues
  • What are the obligations for employers when dealing with unwell employees?
  • Highlighting when stress and mental burnout become incapacitating factors
  • Red flags employers need to be aware of to necessitate remedial action
Johanna Drayton, Partner, Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Lawyers
Which country’s employment law applies, and when? - Implications of the Cathay Pacific age discrimination case for trans-national employment
  • Understanding the complexities when engaging New Zealand-resident employees to work partly or wholly overseas - can you choose foreign employment law to apply?
  • What about staff seconded, or just visiting, from overseas to work in New Zealand? Or hiring foreign domiciled employees to work part time or full time in New Zealand?
  • Does New Zealand employment law apply to them?
  • When is it possible to choose the law of another jurisdiction to apply to employment based wholly or partly in New Zealand? Or to employees who are  New Zealand residents?
  • What are the limits on such choice of applicable law? What happens if you make no choice?
  • Why do New Zealand anti-discrimination provisions apply to employees working under employment agreements which choose foreign law? What are the limits? Does New Zealand‘s unjustified dismissal law also apply? Do the minimum code provisions apply?
  • Insurance and health and safety issues for overseas-based staff working in New Zealand
John Hannan, Partner, DLA Piper
Discussing appropriate out of work and online conduct
  • Explaining recent cases and developments
  • The extent to which an employer can monitor an employee’s online activity and out of work conduct
  • Understanding the extent to which online or out of work conduct can become subject to disciplinary action
  • What steps can be taken to mitigate employee misconduct online and out of work
Anthony Drake, Partner, Wynn Williams
Afternoon break
Mini masterclass - interpersonal workplace investigations

Join Andrew Scott-Howman for this interactive session discussing the development of this specialist area of emerging law

  • What law does apply to the field - including investigating the application of natural justice
  • Looking into the recent case law and how employment law applies
  • Posing issues and questions to help with your understanding
Andrew Scott-Howman, Barrister, Port Nicholson Chambers
Graeme Colgan, Barrister and Employment Law Specialist
Closing remarks from the Chair and end of conference
Steph Dyhrberg, Partner, Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law
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