9.00AM Welcome from the organisers
9.05AM Welcome from the Chair
Dr Bill Hodge, Professional Teaching Fellow, University of Auckland Law School
9.10AM Chair Address (Auckland)
Dr Bill Hodge, Professional Teaching Fellow, University of Auckland Law School

Ministerial Address (Wellington)
Hon Iain Lees-Galloway, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety
9.25AM Managing the new rules regarding collective bargaining, unions & Fair Pay Agreements

The new government's proposed legislation intends to be a "restoration of fairness in the workplace" – how will it impact you? This session explores Labour's initiatives with respect to unions, collective bargaining and fair pay, the changes required and implications for both employers and employees.

Auckland: Sherridan Cook, Partner, Buddle Findlay
Wellington: Peter Chemis, Partner, Buddle Findlay

10.10AM Expansion of equal pay – understanding the shifting landscape

With the reconvening of the Pay Equity Joint Working Group, changes are all but certain with respect to equal pay. Understand the current state of affairs, including a union perspective on equal pay bargaining, and what we can expect in the next phase of regulation from those on the frontlines of reform.

Camilla Belich, Senior Associate, Bartlett Law
Jock Lawrie, Employment Lawyer, New Zealand Nurses Organisation
11.10AM Case law roundup: recent notable employment and health & safety cases

This session reviews the most recent judgments in health & safety and employment law and provides an understanding of the impact and influence of those decisions on your business or practice. The session will cover:

  • Prasad v LSG Sky Chefs Ltd: interpreting triangular employment arrangements
  • Brown and Sycamore v New Zealand Basing Ltd: understanding trans-national employment arrangements
  • Salters Cartage: home detention and nearly $400,000 in fines after a fatal workplace explosion
  • Other recent notable cases and enforceable undertakings to date
Kylie Dunn, Partner, Russell McVeagh
11.50AM Workplace drug and alcohol testing – recent drug trends, testing options and outcomes from a positive test

Workplace drug and alcohol policies must be legally robust, operationally sound, meet the strict requirements of International Testing Standards and be updated regularly to be compliant with the latest trends and practices. The 2015 Health & Safety at Work Act has put more pressure on employers and employees to identify and proactively manage the risk of a potential hazard. This session will cover:

  • The core elements of an effective drug & alcohol programme
  • When to test and what to test for, as well as current drug trends
  • Options for managing a positive test result
  • NZ legal cases and outcomes when workplace drug testing has been challenged
Sue Nolan, Director, DrugFree Sites
Karen Radich, Barrister, Clifton Chambers
1.20PM Empowering your people with good privacy practice

Privacy regulation is changing. Here in NZ and overseas, we're seeing a shift from flexible principles-based regulation to prescriptive laws focusing strongly on individual control and rights. We're also seeing more significant consequences for privacy breaches, at the regulator and court level. Daimhin will summarise key considerations for any employer, reflecting on current law and upcoming law reform, and touching on the following:

  • What's privacy really and why it matters
  • Privacy in flux: a shift to individual control and privacy law reform
  • Data minimization, openness and transparency
  • Ensuring control and accountability
  • The consequences of breach
Daimhin Warner, Director (Auckland), Simply Privacy
1.50PM Risks and rewards – what does increased penalties, awards and costs mean for you?

This session provides an overview of current penalties, awards and costs for actions brought before the Employment Court and ERA, trends with respect to claims and judgments and an analysis of the risks and rewards associated with bringing a claim v settlement or an alternative remedy.

Johanna Drayton, Partner, Dyhrberg Drayton
Michael Loftus, Authority Member, Employment Relations Authority
2.30PM Feature session: Compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings: when, why and how much?

In Waikato DHB v Archibald the Chief Judge of the Employment Court dismissed the DHB’s challenge and doubled the Authority’s award for non-economic loss. Chief Judge Christina Inglis will discuss the takeaways from this and other recent cases, including what must be established to make out a claim for compensation under s 123(1)(c)(i) of the Act and how difficult issues of quantum might best be approached.

Chief Judge Christina Inglis, Employment Court
3.20PM Drafting airtight settlement agreements – what should you be including?

Understand how to draft settlement agreements that minimise liability and future disputes; avoid common mistakes and drafting errors; and gather a fuller understanding of the meaning of settlement terms and their long term implications.

Marie Wisker, Partner, Chapman Tripp
4.00PM Successfully navigating the disciplinary/investigation process

Learn how to master the disciplinary process and conduct a thorough and detailed workplace investigation under s 103(A). This session takes into account judicial interpretation post-Angus and provides:

  • Guidance to ensure your procedures are effective
  • Recommendations on the level of detail necessary in light of an employer’s resources
  • Best practices for managing the interview process
  • How to minimise liability and encourage positive outcomes
Samantha Turner, Partner, Simpson Grierson

Conference attendance earns 6 CPD hours.