An Employment Court hearing between Hewlett-Packard and 30 of its staff, scheduled to start yesterday, has been cancelled.
The trial has been moved into the New Year and in the meantime, the Judge has offered a chance to have a judicial settlement conference, says Auckland employment lawyer Stephen Langton, who is representing the Hewlett-Packard workers.
“The parties have agreed they want to try and resolve it. Whether they can or not will depend on that process,” says Langton.
At issue is HP’s plan to close down a superannuation scheme provided as part of the employment package of many long-term staff.
Earlier this year (Computerworld, February 19), staff pursued a personal grievance claim against the company, after it withdrew the superannuation fund. The Employment Relations Authority decided in June that the claim should be heard by the Employment Court because of the potential impact the case could have on the introduction of the new KiwiSaver superannuation scheme.
The dispute is over whether an employer can shut down a workplace super scheme without compensating workers who are members, and whether super scheme payments are part of the terms and conditions of employment.
The judicial settlement conference will start on the 26 November. Depending on the outcome, a hearing may be required next year.
“We hope for an agreeable resolution for all concerned,” a HP spokesperson says.