33rd Annual Industrial and Employment Relations Summit (IER)

Leading a modernised workforce in time of change and reform

5 - 6 Mar 2019Crowne Plaza, Auckland
Event Details
separately bookable workshops
Masterclass – Practical components of HR practice
4 March 2019 || 9.00am - 5.30pm

A practical workshop covering four core components of HR practice.  All sessions will include considering a fictional fact scenario to promote discussion and sharing of ideas.


How to: run a performance management process

A practical interactive session covering:

  • The core legal components
  • Formal versus informal performance management
  • How and when to put a performance improvement plan in place
  • Justification and what to consider when reaching decisions
  • Common mistakes and how to avoid them
  • Strategies for dealing with difficult situations


How to: manage your obligations when restructuring

A practical interactive session covering:

·       Getting your business case right

·       Consultation requirements

·       Selection criteria and redeployment obligations

·       Legal/Business impact if process goes wrong

·       Common mistakes


How to: run an effective workplace investigation

A practical interactive session covering:

·       When to investigate and how to get started

·       The golden rules

·       Interview techniques

·       Tips on effective report writing

·       The tricky issues and how to deal with them.


How to: run an effective disciplinary process

A practical interactive session covering:

·       Key legal requirements

·       When and how to suspend

·       Justification and what to consider when reaching a decision

·       Common pitfalls and how to avoid them

·       Dealing with road blocks (typical strategies used by employees and their representatives

Jessie Lapthorne


Duncan Cotterill

Jessie has extensive experience as an employment law specialist, in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She is a Partner in Duncan Cotterill’s growing Employment and Health and Safety team and is based out of Auckland. Jessie’s expertise spans the full spectrum of workplace law, where her input ranges from front-end guidance, to dispute resolution and advocacy. She works closely with chief executives, legal counsel and HR managers and is focused on helping her clients to achieve their commercial objectives in the most effective way. Jessie has a diverse client base which cuts across a variety of sectors. She predominantly acts for companies and takes the time to understand her clients’ businesses, so that her advice is targeted and well suited to meeting her clients’ needs.

Conducting a sufficient investigation particularly with respect to harassment & discrimination complaints
4 March 2019 || 1.30pm-5.00pm

Investigations represent an opportunity to deal with significant employment issues but also present a significant risk to both you and employees if conducted incorrectly. With significant increases in complaints likely in an environment of heightened awareness post-Weinstein, this workshop gives you practical lessons on how to conduct a proper and thorough investigation with insight and sensitivity, avoiding making a costly mistake during the process

  • What constitutes “sufficient investigation” in the eyes of the Employment Court and what scope and detail do you need? 
  • A step-by-step guide to putting together an employee investigation - Special considerations in conducting an investigation over sensitive claims - Special protections for both the complainant and employees involved in the investigation
  • Developing questioning skills and conducting interviews
  • Taking things seriously? What constitutes the subject matter of a complaint – when is a threshold to act reached?
  • How to walk the minefield of conflicting information and misleading answers
  • Avoiding wasting time in the investigations process
  • Consulting with staff and adequately explaining the situation - Balancing need to know vs privacy considerations
  • Managing the rights and expectations of all parties involved
  • Looking at and learning from recent case law - where have employers gone wrong with employee investigations
  • Concluding and communicating the investigation

Rosemary Wooders

Senior Associate

Bell Gully

Rosemary is a senior associate in the employment team at Bell Gully. She advises employers and senior executives on a wide variety of contentious and advisory employment matters including personal grievances and disputes, collective bargaining matters, restraints of trade, absence management, redundancy and performance issues, and negotiated exits. She also advises on health and safety and privacy matters. Rosemary has experience representing employers and senior executives at mediation, in the Employment Relations Authority, the Employment Court, and the Coroner’s Court. Rosemary began her legal career in New Zealand in 2009 before moving to London for almost five years to practice employment law in a leading London law firm.

Strategic processes for restructure and redeployment processes
4 March 2019 || 9.00am - 12.30pm

With pressures to align business strategies alongside a modernised workforce and digital future, businesses are challenged with the need to restructure.  However, redundancies should be the last resort for businesses going through brave change.  An effective approach for organisational restructure is to reduce risk and retain talent is to redeploy staff.  In this class gain in-depth knowledge on the processes to manage transitions and minimise risk.

  • Defining business objectives for the change and transition
  • Developing consultation processes
  • Highlighting the nature of new role and working collaboratively with staff
  • Managing employee grievances and conflict of interest during selection process
  • Avoiding pitfalls and dealing with risk


June Hardacre

Senior Associate

Minter Ellison Rudd Watts

June has broad experience in all aspects of both New Zealand and English employment law. June regularly advises on senior executive appointments and terminations; restraints of trade and protection of confidential information; performance and disciplinary processes; restructuring, redundancy and outsourcing programmes; industrial relations and collective bargaining matters; whistleblowing and protected disclosures; and employee data privacy issues. June has been involved in litigation at all levels of the New Zealand court system, both in relation to substantive disputes and urgent interlocutory matters. June has significant experience in acting for both private and listed companies in the financial services, pharmaceutical and healthcare, and food and beverage sectors. June recently returned to New Zealand, having practiced at a magic circle firm in London for several years, and at another top tier New Zealand law firm prior to that. During her time in London, June regularly advised leading private equity houses and FTSE100 companies on employment law and regulatory issues.

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