34th Annual Industrial and Employment Relations (IER) Summit

Essential updates on new regulation & case law & ER best practice for all New Zealand IER professionals

Event Details
separately bookable workshops
Workshop 1: Managing medical incapacity
2 March 2020 | 9:00am - 12:30pm

Medical incapacity issues can be notoriously challenging to manage.  Immerse yourself in this half day workshop to uncover the best practice and procedures for managing medical incapacity with employees at your workplace. 

  • Outlining your obligations as an HR professional and the red flags you must consider 
  • Looking into when stress and mental burnout become incapacitating factors 

  • What time frame is adequate to give the employee a reasonable opportunity to recover? 

  • What are your responsibilities if the injury or sickness has been caused in the workplace? 

  • What you need to consider with employment agreements and workplace policies  

  • What constitutes a fair and reasonable inquiry into the prognosis for return to work, and how to engage with the employee to seek and consider relevant medical information. 

  • The relevance of the employee’s position, the length of their employment, and other relevant factors 

  • How to inform the employee of the reason for the inquiry, the possible outcome (i.e.termination), and give them an opportunity for input. 

  • What constitutes fairly considering the employee’s feedback before making a decision to terminate? 

Mere King

Senior Associate

Buddle Findlay

Mere is a Senior Associate, in Buddle Findlay’s national employment team – a team known for their commercial approach. In the last 10 years she has focused her practice on employment law and gained recognition for her skills. Mere provides client focused practical advice on a wide variety of matters. She specialises in providing strategic and practical advice on all aspects of employment law, including advising on personal grievances, restructures and disciplinary matters and she regularly appears in the relevant jurisdictions.

Workshop 2: Strategic processes for restructure and redeployment processes
2 March 2020 | 1:30 pm - 5:00pm

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  

Liz Coats


Bell Gully

Liz is a partner at Bell Gully in the Employment and Workplace Safety team who delivers practical, commercially-focused advice. She has extensive experience advising on a range of employment issues including Holidays Act compliance, redundancy and restructuring issues, managing poor performance, disciplinary processes, and restraints of trade. She also advises on health and safety and privacy matters.

Charlotte Joy


Bell Gully

Charlotte is a solicitor at Bell Gully in the Employment and Workplace Safety team. She provides practical advice on a wide range of issues including personal grievances, disciplinary processes, performance management, enforcement of post-employment obligations, industrial relations, restructures, legal compliance, privacy, and health and safety. She also regularly advises corporate clients on employment aspects of commercial transactions, including due diligence matters, the transfer process for employees and reviewing corporate transaction documents.

Workshop 3: Dealing with harassment and bullying claims
5 March 2020 | 9:00am - 12:30pm

#metoo has completely redefined the landscape of harassment and bullying claims in employment law.  Join us for this half day workshop to discover how the new climate affects this area and how it changed the way investigations are conducted. 

  • Understanding your obligations as an employer and how to handle these complaints appropriately 

  • Managing the rights and expectations of all parties involved 

  • How to decide what sort of investigation is needed -is there a test or threshold? 

  • Best practice for conducting an investigation and getting it right 

  • What does the legislation and case law say on this matter – ways to avoid it all going wrong 

Steph Dyhrberg


Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law

Steph Dyhrberg is one of the partners in Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law, a specialist employment law practice in Wellington. She works as a trusted advisor across a broad range of organisations and carries out independent investigations and reviews. Steph has a special interest in pay equity, and represented one of the supporting interveners in the Bartlett v Terranova litigation. Steph has a special interest in preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. She was one of the presenters of a recent Law Society webinar on the topic.

Workshop 4: Collective bargaining, negotiation, and unions masterclass
5 March 2020 | 1:30 pm - 5:00pm

Significant law changes have happened within the collective bargaining and union engagement landscape.  Join us for this half day workshop to prepare yourself for the practical implications and how this will affect your practice as an HR professional. 

  • What are the key law changes that HR professionals need to be aware of? 

  • How will the changes impact the obligations of employers and their HR teams? 

  • The art and importance of effective communication – getting it right 

  • How fair pay agreements are affecting different employment sectors 

  • What is the best practice and best strategies to follow to avoid pitfalls  

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.

Emily Partridge



Emily has a wide range of experience in all aspects of New Zealand employment law, including privacy and health and safety. She regularly advises clients on performance and disciplinary processes, restructuring and redundancy, immigration issues, restraints of trade and protection of confidential information, industrial relations and collective bargaining matters, and commercial advisory matters including corporate transactions and employee transfers. Emily has experience in assisting clients through the lifecycle of the collective bargaining process, including providing assistance during negotiations. Emily also has experience in employment litigation, including appearing before the Employment Relations Authority.

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