VIDEO: Education Law Conference: Navigating Difficult Legal Issues in Schools (7 CPD Hours)

Session ID: OND183NZA03
Date: Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Venue: This seminar was recorded in AUCKLAND

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Session Content

Date: March 2018
Seminar Recording

Attend and earn 7 CPD hours

Employment issues are the perennial thorn in the side of many a school. If left unmanaged they can be severely detrimental to your school's morale, culture and the quality of education. This program assembles 11 legal experts who will galvanise you with updates, information and tips that can be practically implemented in your school.

Session 1: Latest Employment and Disciplinary Issues for Schools

Chair: Anthony Russell, Principal, Chen Palmer Lawyers

Recent and Upcoming Legislative Changes in Employment Law
An overview and analysis of the significant changes to employment law undertaken and promised by the Labour/NZ First/Green coalition government, including changes to:

  • Trial periods
  • Parental leave
  • Equal pay
  • Compulsory redundancy compensation
  • Rights of contractors
  • Industry wide Fair Pay Agreements

Presented by Sherridan Cook, Partner, Buddle Findlay; Tier 1 Employment, Legal 500 2017

The Latest Issues in Employment Law for Schools

  • Collective agreements versus individual agreements
  • Medical issues with staff
  • School disciplinary decisions: When can they be overturned by the High Court?
    • Kennedy v Boyle: overturning a suspension for student misbehavior at airport
    • Battison v Molloy: overturning a suspension for refusal by student to cut hair

Presented by Catherine Stewart, Barrister, Chancery Chambers

Managing Employment and Staff Issues

  • Underperforming teachers: procedures for managing teacher performance and where you stand from a legal perspective
  • Dealing with teachers unions
  • Part time, casual and fix term employees: Where does the school stand?

Presented by John Hannan, Partner, DLA Piper; Recommended Employment & WHS Lawyers, Doyle's Guide 2017

Performance and Misconduct Issues in the Real World and Online

  • Identifying and managing misconduct and serious misconduct
  • Mandatory Reports to the Education Council: When are they required?
  • The jurisdiction issue: To what extent can a school discipline or dismiss staff when misconduct has occurred outside school hours?
  • Staff misconduct on social media: What can you do?
    • A staff member posts inappropriate online stories and photos: What should you do?
    • How far can you go in managing your staff's social media activity?
    • Inappropriate online interaction with students: from serious misconduct to the grey areas

Presented by Gretchen Stone, Partner, Harrison Stone

INSIGHTS FROM THE EDUCATION COUNCIL: Prevention is Better than Cure: Using the Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession as a Positive Tool

  • The new Standards and the appraisal process: resources available from the Council
  • How our practice evaluators assess competence: the evidence we need from you
  • The Code: What defines a teacher as a professional?
  • Using the Code and Tribunal decisions to maintain professionalism

Presented by Julia McCook-Weir, Lead Lawyer, Education Council

Session 2: Hot Topics in Education Law

Chair: Jacque Allen, Consultant, Cognition Education Group

Intellectual Property Considerations for Your School

  • Important IP concerns in the employment context (ideas, projects and work): Who owns the IP?
  • Preventing ex-employees from leaving with your school's IP
  • What to include in employment contracts to protect IP
  • Trade marks for schools: owning a school's name and logo

Presented by Richard Watts, Partner, Simpson Grierson; Leading Intellectual Property Lawyer, Doyle's Guide 2017

Cyber Bullying, Online Grooming and Harassment Issues

  • What is the school's role and responsibility?
  • Schools obligations to prevent it happening in and outside the school
  • How to prevent and respond to issues when the occur
  • Proposed guidelines: putting the guidelines into practice
  • Legislative changes
  • Internet risks and trends: case study
  • Family harm prevention

Presented by Sergeant George Grove and Detective-Sergeant Kate Smith, Counties-Manukau Police District HQ

GUIDANCE FROM THE MINISTRY FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRIES: Education Providers and the New Food Safety Law
The new food safety law, the Food Act 2014 sets new guidelines for providing safe food. Discover how the requirements impact your school.

  • An overview of the new Food Act to explain how it applies to education providers
  • Information to help you understand what you need to do to comply with the law and when
  • Provide an opportunity for you to ask any questions you have about the Food Act and food safety

Presented by Janet Lymburn, Specialist Adviser (Foodservice), Food & Beverage Group - Regulation & Assurance Branch, Ministry for Primary Industries

Breaches of Privacy and Human Rights in the Education Context

  • Dealing with Privacy Act / LGOIMA Act requests
    • What documents are required to be released?
    • Timeframes/costs and methods of releasing documents
    • Can you withhold documents?
  • Challenges to decisions made to withhold documents
    • Dealing with the Privacy Commissioner/the office of the Ombudsman
    • Mediation and other tactics
  • The Human Rights Review Tribunal
    • The process
    • Recent decisions

Presented by Paul Robertson, Partner, Heaney & Partners and Patrick Ikuia, New Zealand School Trustees Association


Chair: Anthony Russell

Anthony Russell is an experienced employment law practitioner. Anthony specialises in providing expert employment law advice, and has provided quality advice across a range of sectors. Anthony has been practicising law since 1991 and has represented a wide range of employment law clients, particularly in the health, education and infrastructure industries. Anthony has a Masters of Commercial Law from the University of Auckland and an LLB and BA from the University of Canterbury. In addition, Anthony has lecturered at the University of Waikato at both the undergraduate and Masters level. Anthony has also had experience as a Prosecutor for the Serious Fraud Office and as a Senior Solicitor. Anthony also has an active interest in sports law and is a member of Australia New Zealand Sports Law Association.

Sherridan Cook

Sherridan Cook is a partner at Buddle Findlay. He leads the Auckland litigation and employment and health and safety teams, and has specialised in these areas for over 20 years. He enjoys advising on all aspects of the employment relationship, providing strategic industrial relations advice and assisting in resolving contentious employment matters, including personal grievances and confidentiality and restraint of trade disputes, together with health and safety compliance and prosecutions. He has extensive experience as a commercial litigator and regularly appears in the employment and civil courts, and at arbitrations and mediations. He is Consultant Editor for Health and Safety Law Made Easy (2016) and will be Consultant Editor on the 2017 edition of Employment Law Made Easy (both published by LexisNexis).

Catherine Stewart

Specialising in all areas of employment law, Catherine has 20 years' experience as an employment and litigation lawyer. She joined the independent bar as a barrister sole in 2012, having held senior roles in employment law including at partnership level in a major city firm. She also has significant experience in civil and commercial litigation.Catherine has successfully argued several high profiles cases, including a landmark case on stress in the workplace in the Employment Court; and a landmark case on freedom of association, for which she was appointed "amica curiae" (advisor to the court) by the Employment Court and the Court of Appeal. In 2014 Catherine won a Court of Appeal case overturning a prior costs decision in longstanding and complex litigation which spans both the employment and civil jurisdictions. In 2015 she successfully defended a wide range of claims against her client in the Employment Court including breach of confidence, breach of good faith and fidelity and breach of employment agreement. Catherine holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Arts in languages. She was admitted to the bar of the High Court of New Zealand in 1990. A regular presenter and writer on topical employment law issues, Catherine is a member of the New Zealand Bar Association, the New Zealand Law Society and the Auckland District Law Society Inc. Catherine is the Convenor of the Auckland District Law Society Inc Employment Law Committee, a committee which represents practitioners in regular meetings with Judges, members of the Employment Relations Authority, mediators, Government departments and other employment-related institutions such as trade unions.

John Hannan

John Hannan is a highly experienced partner in the employment, litigation and IP, information technology and telecommunications teams at DLA Piper New Zealand. He has acted for major New Zealand and international organisations including one of New Zealand's largest supermarket retailers, a listed chemicals, resins and building products manufacturer, national and international insurers, international and national insurance brokers, a global pharmaceutical manufacturer / distributor; international engineering consultancies, a computer games manufacturer, a New Zealand-wide restaurant chain, and numerous primary, secondary and tertiary education providers. John has experience in fraud, theft of intellectual property, and breach of confidentiality situations, obtaining "freezing orders" and search orders and injunctions. He has significant experience of restraint of trade claims. He has dealt with major product liability claims. He is an experienced High Court advocate. John assists clients with all aspects of employment relationships, both contentious and non-contentious. He appears on employment law matters in the Employment Relations Authority, the Employment Court and the Court of Appeal. John acts for insurers in claims under Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policies covering employers against employment- related disputes. He has also acted for insurers in public liability and professional indemnity claims. Intellectual Property including trademarks, copyright and patent litigation is also an area where John has significant experience.

Gretchen Stone

Gretchen Stone specialises in employment and education law. She advises secondary principals through the Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand and with primary principals as the Honorary Solicitor for Auckland Primary Principals Association. Gretchen has extensive experience advising Principals and Board of Trustees in relation to employment and disciplinary issues, governance and management, student discipline issues, social media, and all areas of legal liability within the education sector.

Julia McCook-Weir

Julia McCook-Weir is the Lead Lawyer at the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. She provides legal advice to the organisation, including the Complaints Assessment Committee and the Competence Authority. Previously Julia worked in the Police legal team. She has also worked in various roles at the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner, been an instructor for law graduates completing the 'Professionals Course' and worked in private practice specialising in criminal and family court advocacy.

Jacque Allen

Jacque Allen is currently working as a Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator as Part of the Te Toi Tupu National Project. Her experience in teaching at both primary and secondary levels enables her to work across all curriculum areas and at all year levels. Jacque brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role, presenting both nationally and internationally for many years to education sector. Jacque is passionate about modern learning practice and provides a co-constructivist approach; enabling teachers to develop strategies for personalised learning and establishing innovative learning spaces. Jacque is currently a member of the national committee for cefpiNZ and has recently completed research in relation to sustaining value within online communities; this research was part of her completing her Masters of Management with the University of Auckland Business School.

Richard Watts

Richard Watts co-heads the firm's intellectual property group, advising a number of the world's leading companies in the FMCG, pharmaceutical, IT, and sports industries. His practice covers both non-contentious and contentious IP. Richard works with a number of leading pharmaceutical companies and research institutions, particularly in international licensing and enforcement. This work includes development and implementation of patent and IP commercialisation strategies for leading local and international businesses. He has been involved in a number of New Zealand's most significant patent disputes, in the pharmaceutical and construction industries. Acting for a number of leading brands in the FMCG area, Richard has co-ordinated trade mark protection, enforcement and border protection measures for numerous household names, both in New Zealand and abroad. Richard is also highly regarded in copyright law, particularly in relation to IT and new technologies, having advised a number of the world's favorite brands in relation to the launch of their new electronic and web products in New Zealand. Richard appears frequently in IP disputes, having appeared in leading Supreme Court and Court of Appeal IP cases, as well as in the High Court, Copyright Tribunal and Intellectual Property Office.

George Grove

George is a Detective on the Child Exploitation Team based in Manukau. He joined the Police in 2000 and worked as a front line officer for five years before joining the Criminal Investigation Branch; where he has been involved in investigations and prosecutions dealing with a range of serious incidents from Homicide and aggravated robbery through to the Misuse of a telephone. Over the past five years he has specialised in Victim and Witness interviewing and sexual offending, more recently developing a response to online grooming offending and the management of identified Child Sex Offenders in our community.

Kate Smith

Janet Lymburn

Janet Lymburn is one of the team working on the implementation of the Food Act 2014. Her role includes developing tools to help food business comply with the new Act and to liaise with food businesses and those in the education sector on the new Food Act. Prior to this role Janet worked in MPI's Policy team on the development of the Food Act 2014. She has an extensive background as a chef and more recently worked in regional food development in South Australia.

Paul Robertson

Paul is a partner of Heaney & Partners, a boutique law practice in Auckland. Paul was admitted to the bar in 1985 and graduated from the University of Otago in 1986. He was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in 1991. Paul heads the firm's employment liability team. He advises employers and employees in relation to disputes and general employment relations issues. Paul acts on behalf of the insurers of most schools in New Zealand as well as for societies and clubs, health professionals, solicitors and other employers. He writes a monthly column in the leading employment publication, Employment Today. In addition to his employment law practice, Paul has considerable experience in the litigation and insurance arenas and regularly appears in the Weathertight Homes Tribunal, the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court. Paul is married with one adult daughter who is currently studying at the University of Auckland. When not focussed on work or family, he can be found at gigs indulging his passion for music.

Patrick Ikiua

Patrick Ikiua is the Tamaki Makaurau & Te Tai Tokerau Regional Manager for Te Whakaroputanga Kaitiaki Kura o Aotearoa (New Zealand School Trustees Association). In this role, he oversees the delivery of governance and employment support and guidance to school boards of trustees. Patrick holds degrees in commerce and law from Auckland University. Commencing professional practice as a commercial lawyer Patrick joined the corporate sector as Legal Counsel specializing in telecommunications before accepting an invitation to work overseas in the international trust & financial sector. Since returning to NZ Patrick had a change in professional focus, and has been the principal of consultancies that specialize in community development, community law, health and education services. He has held directorships in private training companies, served on the trust boards for Youthline NZ, Pacific Rim Community Trust and St. Josephs Primary (Chairman), Young Leaders NZ (Former Chairman/Trustee). Patrick has also cofounded start-up organizations that have delivered case management, employment and community development programmes targeted at the advancement of Maori & Pasifika peoples. With an enjoyment for teaching Patrick has lectured in commercial law at a tertiary level.

Venue Details

Stamford Plaza Auckland

Ground Floor, 22 - 26 Albert St
Auckland 1010

Ph: 64 9 309 888


The Stamford Plaza Auckland is a short 5 minute walk from the main

train/bus station Britomart. There is onsite valet parking, charged at a rate

of NZ$45 per car. Alternatively there are numerous public car parks in the

area including Challenge House, 1/3 Wolfe Street.

Parking is not included in the registrartion fee and price is subject to


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