Employment Court sees first all-women bench

The hearing was also the first COVID-19-related case which has made its way to the court

Employment Court sees first all-women bench

The Employment Court had its first all-women bench at a hearing in Auckland last week.

According to a report from the New Zealand Law Society, Chief Judge Christina Inglis, Judge Joanna Holden, and Judge Kathryn Beck heard a case challenging the Employment Relations Authority’s determination regarding employees’ entitlement to pay for work during Alert Level 4, despite being unable to do so.

The Law Society said that this was “one of the first times an employment dispute relating to the impacts of COVID-19 has reached the court.”

“This week’s hearing was significant as it was the first time a full court of the Employment Court had sat with all female judges,” Chief Judge Inglis told the Law Society. “The hearing was also the first COVID-19 related case which has made its way to the court. The Employment Court has put in place contingency plans to accommodate such litigation, to enable it be dealt with promptly given the broader public interest and potential impact.”

According to Inglis, the court is set to hear another COVID-19-related case in December.

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