Rosemary Wooders

Partner Auckland

Contact Rosemary

Rosemary advises employers and senior executives on a wide variety of transactional, contentious and advisory employment matters including personal grievances and disputes, collective bargaining matters, protected disclosures, restraints of trade, team move matters, absence management, redundancy and performance issues, and negotiated exits. She also advises on health and safety and privacy matters.

An experienced negotiator, Rosemary represents employers and senior executives at mediation.  When matters have not settled, Rosemary has represented clients in the Employment Relations Authority, the Employment Court, and the Coroner's Court.

Rosemary has an interest in the privacy and employment law implications of new technologies in the workplace, including biometrics and generative AI.

Outside of her legal work, Rosemary is influential in providing commentary online and through traditional media on New Zealand employment law issues. She is connected with employers and other lawyers across New Zealand and internationally regarding these issues, through media, social media, seminars and writing articles. 

In the international legal directory, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023, Rosemary is ranked as a 'Rising Star' for labour and employment. Rosemary regularly receives feedback from clients regarding her pragmatic and commercial approach and her responsiveness. Clients have also commented that Rosemary “goes above and beyond to make the law accessible.

In 2022, Rosemary was appointed to The Law Association’s Employment Law Committee (formerly the ADLS Employment Law Committee).

Work highlights

Employment status issues
Advising several clients on employment status risk arising from engaging contractors (and disputes arising from same).

Team moves
Advising clients on restraints of trade and team move matters arising from offering employment to employees of a competitor.

Complex employment investigations
Advising employers on a range of complex investigations, including in respect of bullying and harassment, sexual harassment, and fraudulent conduct in the workplace.

Minimum Wage Act and Holidays Act advice
Advising clients on a number of significant Minimum Wage Act and Holidays Act reviews and non-compliance issues across the public and private sectors (including remediation of same).

Corporate transactions
Advising clients on employment aspects arising from corporate transactions, including the transfer of employees. Recent transactions include First Sentier Investment’s acquisition of Waste Management NZ, Toll Group’s sale of Toll Network’s business to Allegro Funds, and Fidelity Life’s acquisition of Westpac Group’s NZ life insurance business.

Privacy Act compliance reviews
Carrying out comprehensive Privacy Act compliance reviews for a range of large employers.

Minimum wage case
Successfully representing Enterprise Motor Group in Employment Court proceedings brought by the Labour Inspectorate relating to the application of the Minimum Wage Act to commission based remuneration (Enterprise Motor Group (New Lynn) Limited v A Labour Inspector).

Lyttelton Port Company industrial disputes
Advising Lyttelton Port Company, which operates one of the country’s major ports, in litigation involving collective bargaining issues with the Maritime Union of New Zealand and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

Casual employee issue
Successfully representing a large organisation in the Employment Court against a claim by a former employee that they were a permanent employee (rather than a casual employee). 

Health and safety advisory work
Rosemary’s recent health and safety advisory experience includes advising:

  • an employer on a workplace health and safety investigation involving an employee’s failure to follow SOPs, including the interplay with a subsequent employment investigation into same;
  • large employers on officers’ due diligence requirements;
  • on health and safety duties arising from contractor management, including overlapping duties;
  • on health and safety matters arising in the context of transactions (including on WorkSafe investigations, prosecutions, earthquake-prone buildings, and asbestos management); and
  • employers on managing psychosocial hazards in the workplace.