Senior Associate

Sam Houliston

LLB / BCom
Sam Houliston is a Senior Associate in the Disputes Team and specialises in Employment Law.

Sam graduated with conjoint degrees in Law and Commerce (specialising in Employment Relations) from the University of Auckland in 2005. He was admitted to the Bar in February 2006.

Sam joined Hesketh Henry in 2017, having previously worked for Auckland laws firms as an employment, civil and criminal litigator representing clients in the Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court, High Court, and tribunals. He has previously prosecuted health and safety matters for the Department of Labour (prior to WorkSafe’s being) and acted as an independent Accident Compensation adjudicator.

Sam advises employers and employees on all issues arising from the employment relationship including restructuring, performance management, disciplinary procedures, personal grievances, restraint of trade issues, health and safety matters and statutory compliance.  He regularly helps clients at mediation and in the Employment Relations Authority.

Sam is a member of the New Zealand Law Society and the Auckland District Law Society.

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Examples of work completed by Sam include:

  • Advising on health and safety compliance and WorkSafe enforcement action.
  • Enforcement of restraint of trade covenants following the exit of key employees.
  • Advising on employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions.
  • Advising employers regarding implementation of drug and alcohol testing.
  • Advising a national union in respect of industrial action.

Insights & Opinion / Sam Houliston

Directors’ accountability for health and safety violations
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) defines an ‘officer’ as a person who exercises significant influence over the management of a business or undertaking (PCBU).
21.07.2022 Posted in Health & Safety
Are you ready for the new Covid-19 Protection Framework?
Parliament has been racing through COVID-19 legislation in preparation for New Zealand entering the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) at midnight tonight, Thursday 2 December.   Employers operating...
02.12.2021 Posted in Business Advice & COVID-19 & Employment & Health & Safety
Construction Contractor Controversy: Guidance on the Status of Contractors
Workers in the construction industry are frequently engaged as independent contractors.
18.06.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Construction & Employment
Demolishing the “I’m not a PCBU” defence
In WorkSafe New Zealand v Dong SH Auckland Limited [2020] NZHC 3368, the High Court considered the statutory concept of a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU).  The facts of the prosecu...
04.03.2021 Posted in Health & Safety
The impact of lockdown on the Minimum Wage Act: the Employment Court judgment in Gate Gourmet
In Sandhu v Gate Gourmet New Zealand Ltd, Gate Gourmet challenged the Employment Relations Authority’s determination that the protections under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 (MWA) applied to its employe...
03.03.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Employment
COVID-19 Redundancies: Cutting Corners Courts Censure
The Employment Relations Authority (Authority) has recently issued a determination that considers redundancies implemented due to the Government’s COVID-19 restrictions:  De Wys and Jenney v Solly...
13.08.2020 Posted in COVID-19 & Employment
COVID-19: Health and Safety in essential businesses
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand’s alert level is currently at Alert Level 4.
31.03.2020 Posted in Business Advice & COVID-19 & Health & Safety