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Employment law matters during COVID-19 lockdown

Employment law matters during COVID-19 lockdown
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A Q & A session with John Hannan, Lucia Vincent, moderated by Maria Dew QC

This webinar is suitable for any lawyers dealing with employment law issues, some of the topics that will be covered include:

  • Lock down levels and how they affect employment
  • Employer Wage Subsidy Scheme: including what ‘best endeavours’ looks like, who is eligible, and employer obligations
  • Agreeing reductions in pay/hours with staff - what's the right process in accordance with good faith obligations?
  • Standing down staff on no pay or lower pay
  • Annual leave: including whether employers receiving the wage subsidy for employees who cannot attend work (nor work from home) can require those staff to reduce their annual leave (entitled) balances
  • Public Holidays: including what is otherwise a ‘working day’ when we’re in lockdown? What to pay people for public holidays when they are not able to work due to the lockdown restrictions.
  • Restructuring and redundancy: including when and how can businesses restructure and make staff redundant, how does the wage subsidy affect this, is consulting by Zoom OK
  • Frustration of contract, force majeure clauses

Attendees are also invited to submit their questions ahead of time, which will be answered during the webinar. Click here to submit questions in advance.

Learning objectives

  • Understand the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on employment law matters;
  • Explore the options available to assist with employment law matters during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions.

This webinar is approved as 1.5 hours towards lawyers’ Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Who should attend?

Lawyers dealing with employment law.


John Hannan - Barrister

John is a barrister specialising in employment law from Bankside Chambers. He previously led the employment law team at DLA Piper New Zealand. He is a member of the New Zealand Law Society Employment Law Committee.

He has had wide experience acting for employers and employees in the employment institutions and in the High Court across a broad range of employment related matters, from personal grievances through to collective bargaining issues to restraint of trade and breach of confidentiality. He also advises on human rights and privacy/data protection issues.

As the Covid-19 crisis has unfolded he has provided extensive advice to a range of employers on responding to the sequential issues as they have emerged, including obligations under the government wage subsidy scheme, reductions in remuneration and hours, stand downs, redundancy, and Holidays Act 2003 issues.

As well is working in employment law he has specific expertise in Education Law. He is a Deputy Chair of the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal.

He has also carried out independent investigations.

He is experienced in mediation and arbitration.

John Hannan

Lucia Vincent - Partner, Webb Farry Lawyers 

Lucia assists business owners, HR advisors and senior executives to resolve employment issues with commercial pragmatism. She enjoys working with Insurers and clients to settle complex and sensitive claims involving several parties, professional bodies, unions, and advisors. She also represents clients in the Employment Relations Authority and mediation.

Lucia is sought after to upskill businesses and professional bodies, both in house and at conferences and seminars including for the Chamber of Commerce and Chartered Accountants Association of Australia and New Zealand. She has authored papers and articles in national conferences and publications.

Lucia is instructed to conduct independent investigations into bullying and harassment. She handles historical holiday pay claims, Labour Inspector inquiries, gender equity, privacy, human rights and professional disciplinary issues. With her team she develops robust employment agreements and policy and resolves restructuring and personal grievances efficiently.

Lucia works with other employment law specialists selected for the National Employment Law Committee for the New Zealand Law Society. She leads the Employment Law Committee for the Otago Branch and sits on the Audit and Risk Committee as a Trustee of charitable trust THETA.

Lucia Vincent

Maria Dew QC - Bankside Chambers, Auckland

Maria is a specialist in employment law, professional misconduct and related civil litigation. She acts for a range of employers and employees across the public, private and charitable sectors.

Maria serves as the Covenor of the NZLS Employment Law Committee. She is also a Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. In recent years, Maria has been appointed to conduct independent investigations into allegations of serious misconduct in complex and sensitive cases including for the State Services Commissioner, the Waikato District Health Board, Hockey New Zealand, the New Zealand Labour Party, the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and other public and private sector organisations.

Maria Dew QC

Fee (Incl GST)

Live Web Stream


  • Live Web Stream - Friday 24 April April 2020, 10.00am - 11.30am
  • Registration closes - 5.00pm, Thursday 23 April 2020 

View PDF registration form here.

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Wellington 6011

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PO Box 5041
Wellington 6140
New Zealand