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Conference Agenda


Chairperson Welcome Address

  • Employment Law Major Updates 

Auckland: Simon Lapthorne, Partner, Kiely Thompson Caisley

Wellington: Chloe Luscombe, Partner, Dundas Street Employment Lawyers


Workplace Mental Health and Psychosocial Hazards in a Hybrid Environment

  • Psychosocial risks in the workplace

  • How employers can take proactive steps to embed psychosocial safety in
    their organisations

  • Managing mental health and wellbeing during performance and disciplinary processes

  • What regulations are on the horizon to address psychosocial risks?

Auckland: John Farrow, Partner, Anderson Lloyd; AJ Lodge, Partner, Anderson Lloyd

Wellington: James Cowan, Senior Associate, Anderson Lloyd; William  Fussey, Associate, Anderson Lloyd


Managing Ill and Injured Employees

  • Leverage case law examples and real-world practical strategies to manage ill and injured workers and mitigate the risk of claims

  • Abandonment of employment

  • Sick leave, ACC payments, understanding employer obligations

  • Clarify what to do when in doubt about legitimacy of illness or injury claims

Auckland: Melissa Johnston, Partner, McVeagh Fleming

Auckland: Mike Mercer, Senior Associate, Simpson Grierson

10:35 Morning Tea


Handling Complaints and Conducting Investigations

  • Ensuring fair process is followed during a workplace investigation

  • Do employees have the right to see the complaint, what is the time frame?

  • Can employment be terminated without a workplace investigation

  • Standard of proof required in workplace investigations

  • Bullying vs reasonable management action

Auckland: Alastair Espie, Partner, Duncan Cotterill

Wellington: Olivia Lund, Partner, Duncan Cotterill


Insights from Across the Globe

  • In this session we'll delve into global regulation changes on the horizon. These insights
    will shed light on how evolving international regulations could effect the labour market
    and workplaces in New Zealand.

Auckland and Wellington: Laura Scampion, Country Managing Partner and Head of                                                   Employment New Zealand, DLA Piper
                                          Carl Blake, Partner, DLA Piper

12:25 Lunch


INTERACTIVE SCENARIO BASED DISCUSSION: Managing Poor or Difficult Employee Behaviour and Serious Misconduct 

Join us for a session designed to encourage critical thinking about employment law in a scenario context. The session includes small group discussions, group reporting, expert feedback with insights and take-aways from our lawyer, and a Q&A session.

Auckland: Joseph Harrop, Senior Associate, Lane Neave

Wellington: Andy Bell, Partner, Lane Neave


Terminations and Preventing Unjustifiable Dismissal Claims

  • Understanding when reinstatement may be a primary remedy for an
    unjustified dismissal claim

  • Common pitfalls and when liabilities related to terminations emerge
    *Allowing for response by the employee
    *During performance improvement/ performance management
    *Terminations for reasons of absences: when an employer can
    terminate employment

  • Meeting requirements for redundancy

  • Terminations during trial periods, probationary periods, and following restrictions to
    the use of trial periods

Auckland: Georgina McAdam, Senior Associate, Dentons Kensington Swan

Wellington: Ruvin Pattiaratchi, Senior Associate, Dentons Kensington Swan

2:40 Afternoon Tea


Panel Discussion: Employment Law Updates and Changes
Potential topics:

  • Revisions to the Holidays Act and leave entitlements

  • Introduction of the Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Bill and
    The Crimes (Theft by Employer) Amendment Bill

  • What employment law changes can we expect post-election?

  • Update on Fair Pay Agreements

  • How to make your workplace more neuro-inclusive including; inclusive recruitment and
    flexibility during the hiring process, reasonable accommodations, learning and development



Roundtable discussion to work through and resolve a common, yet complex
HR issue whilst increasing awareness of relevant employment laws and policies.

Possible areas of discussion:

  • Sexual harassment

  • Disciplinary processes

  • Unjustified disadvantage claims

  • Managing Drugs and Alcohol in the workplace

Auckland:   Rosemary Wooders, Partner, Bell Gully
                   Sherridan Cook, Partner, Buddle Findlay
                   Jim Roberts, Partner, Hesketh Henry
                   Emma Peterson, Partner, Russell McVeagh
                   Sarah McFetridge, Senior Associate, Bell Gully

Wellington:  Emma Peterson, Partner, Russell McVeagh
                    Jordan Boyle, Partner, Dyhrberg Drayton 
                    Andrea Pazin, Special Counsel, Bell Gully

                    Emma von Veh, Senior Associate, Buddle Findlay 

                    Jessica Taylor, Senior Solicitor, Buddle Findlay 

4:30 Chairperson’s Key Takeaways and Closing Address

4:40 End of Conference

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