Employment Law

Chen Palmer’s employment law team can provide advice on employment law and HR related matters.

The Employment Law team is led by Anthony Russell who is supported by talented Associates.

Chen Palmer is committed to providing effective, value for money employment law advice, and has a history of delivering positive results for clients.

Employment law support for Small and Medium Enterprises

Chen Palmer regularly offers support to small and medium sized employers who need guidance or facilitation with employment issues and opportunities, including:

  • Drafting independent employment agreements;
  • Resolving workplace issues that are not disciplinary in nature;
  • Difficult employment conversations;
  • Aligning employee and employer needs;
  • Applying performance management steps;
  • Providing a contact person for employees if you have no dedicated HR person; and
  • Facilitated employment discussions.


Chen Palmer’s employment law team has a significant amount of experience in employment litigation, including representing both employers and employees –

  • In negotiations, mediation and arbitration;
  • In Employment Relations Authority proceedings;
  • In Employment Court proceedings;
  • In the High Court and appellate court proceedings.

Collective Employment and Bargaining

Chen Palmer advises on collective employment agreements and protocol documents for staff reviews as part of restructuring processes.

Chen Palmer advises companies on their engagement with unions, including strategic and legal advice in relation to collective bargaining, and advice on reforming the Employment Relations Act.

Disputes and personal grievances (PGs)

Chen Palmer’s employment team has significant experience in dealing with personal grievances for both employers and employees and can provide cost effective advice and support at any stage of the process.

Health and Safety

Chen Palmer has experience in advising on, drafting and updating health and safety policies for all types of business, including for future compliance with the Health and Safety Reform Bill 2014. Further, Chen Palmer has provided a number of clients with tailored advice on the implications of the Pike River Report on health and safety in the workplace.

Drug and Alcohol Policies

Chen Palmer has been at the forefront of advising large employers in relation to workplace drug and alcohol policies.

Reputation and Publications

Chen Palmer and LexisNexis published the Employment Law Toolbox for Business in June 2013, and continues to provide regular updates.

Chen Palmer was awarded Best Boutique Law Firm in 2010, and won best public law firm at the New Zealand Law Awards from 2007 to 2011, and in 2013. Chen Palmer was also a finalist at the New Zealand Law Awards for best employment law firm in 2011.

Organisational change

Chen Palmer has significant experience in organisational change.

Chen Palmer has experience in complex organisational change, particularly in the public sector with the merger and amalgamation of departments and Crown agencies. Chen Palmer is able to navigate the various challenges that such organisational change invariably brings using its unique combination of skills in employment law and public law.