Menu
EMPLOYMENT
Employment Wayfinder 150x150

We are the experts in employment law.

People are key to your business. Successfully navigating New Zealand’s prescriptive employment law is crucial to your reputation and fostering a positive and dynamic work environment. Your ability to respond to the myriad of issues you face requires advice which keeps you on the right side of the law and gets the best out of your people at all the different stages of the employment relationship. When contentious issues arise, you want to resolve them quickly and economically. If you must litigate, you want to understand the risks to your business and reputation. 

We are passionate about employment law. We want to work with you to ensure the people side of the business is working optimally to give you a competitive advantage. We will work with you to ensure you have the flexibility to manage your workforce, and ensure compliance in the highly regulated employment law space. Our specialist team, one of the largest in New Zealand, brings technical prowess coupled with an appreciation of relationships in this space. Always strategic, we cover the full ambit of employment law, including re-organisation, union issues, dispute resolution, and investigations. Whether a local business or government department, or an international company with employees in New Zealand, we are here to add value.   

EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS

Our experience includes: 

  • We act for the Qantas Group in its New Zealand operations, including advising on the recent establishment of its regional operation.
  • We advised a key government agency on two major projects involving the possible transfer of a number of support functions from existing public sector entities to a new agency. The issues involved information and consultation obligations relating to employees and unions, the pros and cons of various transfer mechanisms, redundancy entitlements, and media risks.
  • We have advised various employers on difficult Holidays Act 2003 questions, including liabilities inherited from previous employers, and worked with them on major reviews of their payroll systems to ensure compliance.
  • We provide regular ‘sounding board’ advice to a large number of major clients on issues including restructurings, performance, conduct, sickness and relationship questions; contractual issues including restraints of trade, disciplinary action, dismissals, holidays, human rights, privacy and KiwiSaver.
INVESTIGATIONS

Our experience includes: 

  • We provided guidance to a major international consultancy business during a multi-layered and complex investigation into a complaint made by an employee. The investigation was particularly challenging in light of the nature of the allegations and the number of alleged perpetrators. We worked closely with Opus to manage the commercial and legal risks.
  • We carried out a major bullying investigation for a District Health Board, which involved more than 20 witnesses and wide ranging allegations covering long periods of time. The complainant accepted the report’s findings that the allegations were not substantiated.
  • We acted for Auckland Transport on a major investigation into bribery and corruption of public servants. We worked in a multi-disciplinary team with PWC to review documentation in relation to tendering of contracts and project management, and assisted with media and communications issues.
  • We carried out an investigation for a major bank into bullying allegations raised by call centre employees against their manager. The allegations were serious and involved potentially criminal behaviour including blackmail. The allegations were not upheld.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Our experience includes: 

  • We provided strategic advice to Serco on its ‘greenfields’ collective agreement with the Corrections Association of New Zealand for Mt Eden prison.
  • We advised the Order of St John on a complex collective bargaining process involving five different unions, and brought injunction proceedings under the new strike balloting legislation to stop unlawful strike action.
  • We represented the NZ Transport Agency at hearings in the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court that involved complex issues relating to remuneration bands and good faith bargaining.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Our experience includes: 

  • We successfully defended an injunction brought against the Qantas Group by the New Zealand Airline Pilots’ Association. The issues included the scope of the statutory obligation of good faith with regard to decisions affecting New Zealand-based employees made by overseas entities, and the impact of overseas market disclosure restrictions on the scope of this duty.
  • We obtained urgent without notice orders against an employee of a major New Zealand retailer to prevent unlawful disclosure of confidential information. As part of that application, we obtained permanent name suppression of the retailer in light of the sensitivity of the commercial issues involved.
  • We represented a large Crown entity in a lengthy Employment Court case relating to an unjustified dismissal claim. We persuaded the Court not to grant any remedies because of conduct by the employee that was discovered after the dismissal.
  • We successfully defended an urgent application for interim reinstatement made by a former employee of Auckland Transport, which involved complex issues regarding termination of employment for safety reasons.
  • We represented Downer in a Human Rights Review Tribunal case to defend a claim brought by a third party alleging that they had been discriminated against by a Downer employee. The claim was not upheld by the Tribunal.

Share:

NEWS, UPDATES AND EVENTS RELATED TO EMPLOYMENT

View All