Employment Law Update 2018

An intensive 1-day insight to ensure you comply and are prepared for the negotiating table

Event Details

Wellington Agenda

Registration and coffee
Opening remarks from the Chair
Blair Scotland, Partner, Dundas Street Employment Lawyers
The employment relations reset – anticipating the impact of employment law changes on businesses
  • Analysing the overall impact these employment law changes will have on NZ businesses – what should we be anticipating in terms of impact and union activity?
  • Highlighting and explaining new obligations and responsibilities
  • Best practice steps you can take to minimise disruption and de-risk your organisation
Charles McGuinness, Principal, McGuinness Employment Law
Preparing your organisation for the restored and strengthened collective bargaining provisions

The biggest shift in law deals with restoring and strengthening various union rights, particularly around collective bargaining. This session explores the detail.

  • Restoration of the duty to conclude bargaining unless there is a good reason not to
  • Repeal of the process to have bargaining declared over
  • Restoration of earlier initiation timeframes for unions in collective bargaining
  • Removal of the Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) opt out which previously allowed employers to refuse to bargain for a MECA
  • Pay rates to be included in collective agreements - pay ranges and methods of calculation
  • Repealing partial strike deductions
  • Proposed fair pay obligations and agreements – what might these entail
Barbara Buckett, Principal, BuckettLaw
Morning break
Complying with your new and restored obligations designed to promote union membership
  • Restoring union access to your workplace & workers without prior consent  
  • Providing reasonable paid time for union delegates to represent other workers – what is the extent of this new obligation?
  • Restored and new rules for new employees:
    • Restoration of the 30 day rule where for the first 30 days new employees must be employed under the terms and conditions of the collective agreement [Moved from above]
    • Employers required to pass on information about the role and functions of unions in the workplace to new employees
    • Employers will need to advise the union of new employees and whether they have joined the union, unless they object
  • New protections against discrimination for union members
  • Implications and practical steps
Peter Chemis, Partner, Buddle Findlay
Hamish Kynaston, Partner, Buddle Findlay
Getting ahead of the game: A watching brief on anticipated legislative changes
  • Fair Pay Agreements – a return to national awards?
  • Are you a contractor? Are you an employee? No, you’re a dependent contractor – what is this new concept and how will it impact on the NZ employment law framework?  
  • Who is my employer? A look at the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill.
Megan Richards, Partner - Employment and Public Law, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts
Lunch break
90 day trials – change is in the wind
  • With the proposed limitation of trial periods to SMEs, what are your options to retain some of the hiring flexibility?
  • What happens to trial periods entered into before the change – do they still work?
  • What are the risks around using trial periods – and how best can you manage these?
Rachel Burt, Special Counsel, Kensington Swan
Equal pay reform & workplace discrimination – what is expected to change and how can you internalise these changes sooner to create a fairer, safer workplace

The Pay Equity Joint Working Group is working on equal pay reform and changes are certain. How can you review your current pay status with regards equal pay and what steps should you be preparing to take to move ahead of the expected law reform? The landscape has also shifted with regards sexual discrimination with several high-profile organisations taking large hits to their reputations and attractiveness as an employer of choice.

  • Foreshadowing the outcomes of the Pay Equity Joint Working Group
  • Conducting pay equity reviews in your organisation – where and how to start?
  • What does pay equity look like? It is that simple?
  • Sexual harassment & discrimination in the Weinstein & #MeToo era – new expectations and how to respond?
  • Outlining the procedures for handling a discrimination complaint
  • Your duties to investigate
  • An awareness of power at play in organisations and how to create neutraliser policies and practices
  • The end to workplace drinks?
Kim Wild, Senior Associate, Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law
Afternoon break
Holidays Act Update - avoiding the traps
  • Most common traps and pitfalls in the Holidays Act – bonuses, redundancy, changing work patters
  • Ensuring you get it all right - payments, remediation and audits
  • Key steps to ensure you comply
  • An update on labour inspector audits
  • The future of the Holidays Act
Andy Bell, Principal, Andy & Co
Omnibus case law review – what has changed you need to know about?

Review the most recent judgments in health & safety law.

  • Health & Safety decisions – key lessons behind the fines meted out, including:
    • How the District Court has been sentencing under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
    • The ‘fatigue’ case and implications for employers
    • The potential for bullying prosecutions against employers
    • Examining recent ‘enforceable undertakings’ and implications for employers
Andrew Shaw, Partner - Electricity, Employment, H&S & Accident Compensation, Lane Neave Lawyers
Summary remarks from the Chair and networking drinks
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