Agenda

WELLINGTON: TUESDAY 3RD MARCH  -  AUCKLAND: THURSDAY 5TH MARCH

08:20

08:50

Topics could include the Triangular Employment Bill, Equal Pay amendment Bill, or availability provisions.

09:10

Raising and responding to concerns about behaviour – informal approaches vs. formal or facilitated meetings 
Avoiding misclassification of underperformance as a conduct issue
Drawing connections with out-of-work conduct. When can it impact your organisation?
Social media standards – should they be specified in your policies? 
Managing union related conflicts which flow into the office
Moving forward when non-disciplinary actions have been tried in the past, to no avail
Warnings – what they should contain
Responding to serious misconduct
Pre-empting investigations: Considering underlying behaviour, and whether to proceed to an investigation
Reviewing recent case decisions

09:50

Assessing factors influencing an investigation – the seriousness of allegations, and complexities of complaints
Responding to requests for anonymity, or when a complaint says they don’t want any formal actions
Planning your investigation and getting both terms of reference and timelines right up-front
Maintaining independence and ensuring procedural fairness
Managing information flow throughout the investigation. What should be shared and communicated?
When is a temporary remedy such as suspension appropriate, and approaching it without prejudice
Managing common difficult issues in investigations 
Making well-reasoned findings
When investigations lead to terminations – ensuring that a dismissal can be justified
Limiting the consequences of poorly handled investigations
Reviewing related cases

10:30

11:00

Parental and Primary Carer leave: 
- What’s changing from July 2020: parental  and primary carer leave periods, parameters around continuity of employment, and options for structuring the leave 
- Meeting protocols around ‘Keeping In Touch’ days
- Complying with job protection provisions for parental leave: re-deployment options, redundancy, and preference periods
- Understanding partner’s leave entitlements, and parental leave payments

Flexibility and negotiated carer leave - when is it justified to deny requests?

Family violence leave:
- Reviewing employee and employer rights and obligations for Family violence leave
- Implementing short term variations to working arrangements, and considering your OHS obligations
- Updating your policies to account for changes resulting from the Domestic Violence - Victim’s Protection Act

The Holidays Act
- Addressing payroll system non-compliance
- Assessing likelihood of liabilities relating to the Holidays Act

11:45

Understanding the Privacy Act, as it relates to employee information. Are there exemptions to use and disclosure of employee personal information?
Use of third-party systems to hold candidate information – potential liabilities if there is a data breach
Can an employer lawfully request biometric data? Can an employee refuse? 
Ensuring that related technology, and application for the workforce, complies with employment agreements and relevant Acts
Ethical and bias implications from the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for recruitment 

12:25

01:05

Understanding legislations covering bullying and sexual harassment: The ERA; Human Rights Act; Protected Disclosures Act; plus guidelines from the ACC, WorkSafe and State Services Commission
Helping operational managers identify and triage issues early
Addressing complaints, and when to investigate
When can bullying be considered victimisation?
Knowing how to proceed when a complainant requests anonymity or an informal approach
Managing expectations of the complainant and the accused
Ensuring objectivity, procedural fairness and correct processes
- For bullying complaints
- For complaints of inappropriate behaviour or sexual harassment
Analysing recent case decisions and remedies

01:45

Understanding employer OHS obligations and duty of care as they relate to mental health 
Looking at the increased focus on mental health by WorkSafe
Monitoring, managing and safeguarding against mental health or psychological injury risks and triggers in the workplace
Evaluating resilience of potential employees, without crossing the line
Having conversations with employees about mental health issues or risks
Psychological injury and medical incapacity:
Working with treating medical experts - what can you request, and the level of communication
Understanding an employer’s rights to an independent medical assessment to determine capacity
Return to work, and looking at reasonable adjustments and building in some flexibilty
Dealing with sporadically absent employees; temporarily absent employees; versus indefinitely absent employees and uncertain timelines for being off work

02:35

02:55

Reviewing expanded union rights, including access
Channelling communication properly between employers, unions and employees during bargaining periods
Ensuring good faith when bargaining, and reducing chances of stalemates
Reviewing removal of the MECA optout, and repeal of provisions allowing ERA to determine that bargaining has concluded
30 day periods and Individual Employment Agreements – knowing what needs to be communicated to new employees and when
Passing on terms – when can benefits be offered to non-union employees?
Understanding developments re Fair Pay Agreements, and related bargaining process rules

03:35

Restraints, garden leave and non-compete periods: 
Implementing good practice in terms of scope for reasonable and enforceable restraints
Tailoring restraints
Are your restraint clauses too restrictive and unenforceable? What would courts or inquiries likely consider to be unreasonable?
Reviewing remedies or injunctions for post-termination non-compete restraints
Reviewing recent case law

IP & confidentiality:
Determining proprietary interests to be covered
What are the remedies for breach of confidentiality or IP?
Reviewing recent case law

04:15

Drawing the line between what an employee does in their own time, and how that impacts their ability to be safe and productive at work
Having clear policies and procedures regarding impaired employees, and testing
When can employees be directed to attend independent medical examinations to participate in drug or alcohol testing?
Handling a situation where an employee refuses a test
If recreational cannabis use is legalised:
Does a test show previous use or actual impairment? 
Determining levels of robustness for testing, and if thresholds be considered
Will you need to update your policies?

04:55

Performance Management Processes & Risks Workshop


Attend this workshop to navigate the complexities of navigating performance management - one of the most difficult, time consuming and intense roles of an HR Practitioner is navigating performance complexities. This workshop will look at processes for addressing performance, managing terminations, minimising HR risks, and how to substantively justify your decisions. It will also explore the fact that there are times when you can run the best process in the world and the employee still looks to raise a personal grievance, and how to manage that.

WELLINGTON: MONDAY 2ND MARCH  
AUCKLAND: WEDNESDAY 4TH MARCH

Agenda:


8.30 Registration and welcome tea / coffee   

EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE PROCESSES

Adopting effective and performance processes and pathways 
Starting a PIP, and reducing the risk of constructive dismissal claims
Reducing the impacts of performance processes
 
PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT 

What and how are you measuring performance against? 
Managing the space where misconduct and performance meet
Understand the processes required to terminate for performance or misconduct  

10.30 – 11.00
Morning break

CONSEQUENCES OF MISCONDUCT

A total breakdown in the trust and confidence in the employment relationship may result in you, as an employer, looking to start a process which inevitably leads to termination for serious misconduct.
 
Examining some examples of serious misconduct such as bullying, sexual harassment and misuse of social media
Understanding reasonable management actions, and ensuring substantive justification

Assessing related case law

12.20 – 1.00
Lunch break

SICK LEAVE, MEDICAL INCAPACITY AND THE ACC

One of the more difficult tasks for managers and HR practitioners is managing the impacts and implications of leave when employees are away from the workplace for long periods of time due to illness or injury

Looking at performance processes or terminations triggered by long sick leave or medical incapacity periods
Knowing employer and employee entitlements
When you, as an employer, can “fairly cry halt”
Dealing with mental health factors, and medical incapacity

2.30 – 2.50
Afternoon break

TERMINATIONS & PERSONAL GRIEVANCES

Performance processes can be time consuming, expensive and negatively affect productivity and the workplace balance. There are also occasions when employers can run the best performance process and still face a personal grievance. 

Investigating alternatives to commencing a performance process, when the employment relationship is clearly no longer sustainable
Navigating personal grievance claims
Reviewing recent case law and trends regarding awards for hurt and humiliation

Workshop Facilitator:


 
 
Facilitated by Fiona McMillan, Partner, Lane Neave

Fiona McMillan has 12 years experience specialising in assisting employers with all employment law related advice including collective bargaining and human rights commission matters. Fiona regularly represents employers in Mediations, Employment Relations Authority Investigation Meetings and the Employment Court. Fiona was Counsel in the leading case on penalties, Borsboom v Preet PVT Limited.
 
Fiona has worked extensively with employer clients around the often vexed area of performance management processes. Not only does Fiona provide advice on the process but assists clients with implementing and monitoring these plans.
 
She has built strong relationships within a number of different industries including corporate, tourism, the bus and coach industry and manufacturing.
 
Fiona has a hands on style of practice which involves working in a business as opposed to working alongside it. Fiona is often instructed to undertake external investigations for employers and regularly completes HR Audits for her clients.
 
Although Fiona is based in Auckland she works with clients in all parts of the country. Fiona regularly presents employment law seminars around New Zealand.
 
Fiona was nominated for Young Lawyer of the Year at the 2016 New Zealand Law Awards.