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Tuesday 22 November

Samantha Turner, Barrister, Stout Street Chambers

Workplace bullying is an issue that affects all industries, genders and ages. We open the conference with a look at the dynamics of workplace bullying in Aotearoa, examining the evidence for prevalence, harm and antecedents and the work we need to do to reduce its impact.
Prof Bevan Catley, co-founder Healthy Work Group, Massey University

Are workplace bullies born or made? Can they change? The truth is that not all workplace bullies are the same and, while some can’t change, others can. The key is to intervene early. This session discusses: How to identify a workplace bully early; Some individual characteristics of bullies and tips on implementing a psychologically safe workplace.
Dr Dougal Sutherland, Chief Executive, Umbrella Wellbeing

With more workplace bullying incidents being reported, more cases are coming before the courts. This session looks at the various pieces of legislation that workplace bullying and harassment may fall under, reviews key cases, and identifies trends in decisions and penalties.
Samantha TurnerBarrister, Stout Street Chambers

  • Health & safety obligations and employer’s psychosocial risk management obligations
  • Importance of prevention and early intervention
  • Hazard reduction of risk factors contributing to bullying and harassment – workload, job clarity and management style

Marie WiskerPartner, Chapman Tripp

Managing the complaints process can be difficult and the issues are often complex and emotive. This session will guide attendees through the dos and don’ts when receiving a complaint.

  • What constitutes harassment, bullying and discrimination
  • Procedures to be followed when a complaint is made
  • How to act fairly to the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator
  • What measures need to be introduced when there has been an incident
  • What to do when there is a false complaint

India Townsend, Senior Associate, Simpson Grierson

Mediation is a popular form of alternative dispute resolution that is often employed in cases of bullying and harassment. A mediation can be an important professional and personal educational opportunity which helps to restore working relationships. Alternatively, it can be an effective way to resolve cases where continuation of the employment may not be possible. This session will look at:

  • When is mediation a suitable option?
  • What is the process?
  • How to navigate common challenges.
  • Possible outcomes of the mediation process.

Daniel Erickson, Partner, Tompkins Wake

The investigation process can be much more complex and time consuming than initially thought, often with no clear outcome at the end of the process. This session covers the key principles of an effective investigation including:

  • What might trigger an investigation
  • Overview of investigation process- when, where, how
  • Can you investigate without receiving a complaint?
  • What does a good investigation look like?
  • Managing difficult or reluctant witnesses
  • Preparing a report and making a final decision and outcome

Andrew Scott-Howman, Barrister, Port Nicholson Chambers and Australasian Advisory Committee Member, Association of Workplace Investigators

Samantha Turner, Barrister, Stout Street Chambers

Learn tools, processes and strategies to both meet your legal obligations and foster workplaces that prevent unlawful and unfair treatment of employees.

Workplace bullying and harassment is widespread in New Zealand. Studies claim that between one in five and one in three workers report bullying or harassment each year. It impacts individuals and their families, company culture, productivity and external reputation. It lowers morale, increases turnover and can often place you at legal risk.

The Thomson Reuters’ Workplace Bullying and Harassment Conference aims to give attendees a better understanding of the key issues and legal framework around bullying and harassment, along with practical advice on how to respond to and prevent it happening in the first place.

The conference has been designed to address content in a practical way, with pragmatic advice for people managers and their advisors.

Please use the Q&A function on the right to send through your questions to the MC.

We hope you enjoy the conference.

The Thomson Reuters Events Team

Samantha Turner
Samantha Turner, Barrister, Stout Street Chambers 

Samantha is a Barrister at Stout Street Chambers. Prior to this she headed the employment group in Wellington for Simpson Grierson. She has extensive experience in employment law and health and safety. Samantha is regularly involved in a wide range of employment law matters, from litigation to strategic advice. She assists clients with managing and resolving employment relationship problems (particularly stress and bullying claims), union-related issues, grievances and disputes. She reviews and drafts employment agreements, independent contractor agreements, and more general communications between employers and employees.
Prof Bevan Catley
co-founder Healthy Work Group, Massey University
Bevan is Professor of Work and Organisation in the School of Management at Massey University. He is one of the co-founders of the Healthy Work Group – a multidisciplinary team of researchers interested in psychosocial factors in workplace health and safety. Bevan’s primary research focus is on workplace ill-treatment, psychosocial risk and wellbeing and he has published extensively on these topics. Beyond Massey, Bevan has served on the boards of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management and the International Association on Workplace Bullying and Harassment.
Dr Dougal Sutherland
Chief Executive, Umbrella Wellbeing
Dougal has been working as a clinical psychologist for over 20 years and is the CEO of Umbrella Wellbeing. His work providing psychological support to workplaces and employees has seen him assist an array of organisations, including government departments, private companies and the Sir John Kirwan Foundation. This work has taken him around the country and around the world, providing help to everyone from stressed-out bureaucrats in Wellington to people living in a constant state of fear due to impending missile attacks. Dougal is also an Adjunct Teaching Fellow at Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington in the School of Psychology.
Marie Wisker
Marie Wisker, Partner, Chapman Tripp
Marie advises clients on a wide variety of commercial disputes, specialising in employment law and health and safety. She works with a number of the firm’s key clients, many of whom are large employers. With a broad range of general commercial experience, Marie can provide practical advice relevant to the clients’ commercial objectives. She helps clients manage employment and health and safety risks through compliance advice and training, and has spoken at a number of conferences on both employment and health and safety. Marie assists clients on the full range of employment and health and safety matters, including difficult issues relating to mental health where employment and health and safety overlap. She has advised clients on issues regarding personal grievances, employee mental health issues and represented clients responding to investigations and prosecutions by WorkSafe.
India Townsend
Senior Associate, Simpson Grierson
India is a senior associate in Simpson Grierson’s employment law workgroup. She advises on all aspects of employment and health and safety legal issues. She is experienced in both contentious and non-contentious employment law including disciplinary matters, employment investigations, restructures, senior employment arrangements, negotiated exits, performance management, restraint of trade disputes, incentive schemes, Privacy Act requests, advice to senior executives and day-to-day advisory work. India regularly attends mediations and has experience in the New Zealand High Court, Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court and Human Rights Review Tribunal.
Daniel Ericksen
Partner, Tompkins Wake
Daniel is an employment law specialist with a reputation for providing pragmatic, timely and easy-to-understand advice. He represents employers of all sizes in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, freight and logistics and retail. He has also assisted a number of senior executives and CEOs in negotiating the start or the ending of their employment. Clients appreciate Daniel's collaborative and concise approach to solving their employment law problems. If disputes cannot be resolved by negotiation or mediation, Daniel is a skilled litigator. He regularly appears on behalf of his clients in the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court. With deep expertise and experience in health and safety, Daniel assists clients in relation to complying with their legislative obligations. He also works with clients following health and safety incidents during WorkSafe New Zealand investigations and has appeared in the District Court in relation to health and safety prosecutions. Daniel is regularly instructed by employers to undertake external workplace investigations. His recent work includes investigating allegations of bullying, harassment and breaches of the duty of fidelity.
Andrew Scott-Howman
Barrister Port Nicholson Chambers
Andrew is a Wellington based barrister, practising as a workplace investigator. He has a background in employment law, and was a partner both at a major commercial law firm and at the Crown Solicitor’s Office in this area of speciality. In 2016 Andrew graduated from the Association of Workplace Investigator's Training Institute, and is a member of that specialist interest organisation, and a leader of its New Zealand Circle. In the same year he co-authored the Thomson Reuters’ publication, “Workplace Bullying”, contributing an overview of the law relating to investigations in New Zealand. He has a wide experience as an investigator in employment matters, including undertaking investigations of: allegations of workplace bullying; sexual harassment allegations; protected disclosures; and anonymous complaints. Andrew has conducted investigations for both public and private sector entities and has also undertaken reviews of “workplace culture” for different entities.

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