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Code of Conduct

Our Code of Conduct sets out the expectations for all employees, contractors, consultants and partners at Russell McVeagh, and confirms our commitment to maintaining a workplace where everyone can thrive. The Code is framed around our firm's four core values – Respect | Manaaki, Curiosity | Māhirahira, Excellence | Whai hiranga and Tenacity | Whakapau kaha – and outlines who we are and what is important to us.

Our commitments and goals

We are committed to ensuring we have a culture where all our people feel respected and are supported both in their work and with their wellbeing – a culture where our people can thrive. The success of all our people – regardless of gender, age, disability, cultural background, sexual and gender identities, or political and religious views – is important to us.

Russell McVeagh's Board has committed to three key diversity and inclusion goals for within the next 5 years – you can read more about these here.

Our recruitment process is fair and robust and our promotion structure ensures that there are no hidden glass ceilings in the firm. We hold ourselves accountable to this by progressing the work programme that supports our D&I strategy and working in partnership with external organisations to strive to achieve excellence and best practice.

Through our partnerships and initiatives, we are proud of our work with organisations that help to improve diversity and inclusion in the communities we live and work in, as well as the advancement of our profession.

Rainbow Tick

We are proud to have held Rainbow Tick certification since 2016 and we are committed to our environment being a welcoming place for everyone to feel comfortable to bring their authentic selves to work. The Rainbow Tick programme is a continual quality improvement programme designed to help an organisation ensure it is a safe and welcoming workplace for employees of diverse gender identity and sexual orientation.

Gender Tick

In 2023 we gained Advanced Gender Tick certification with the Gender at Work Community, which is a first for a New Zealand law firm. The work the firm is doing to progress gender equality, including becoming one of only two law firms in the country to publicly report its gender and ethnicity pay gaps with Mindthegap, has contributed to this recognition, which you can read more on here.

The GenderTick enables businesses to demonstrate their commitment to gender equity in their workplace and their compliance and leadership across five key indicators: Equal Pay, Leadership Representation, Flexible Work and Leave, Gender Safe Workplace, and Gender Inclusive Culture.

Paying our people fairly is important

As an accredited Living Wage Employer, we pay at least the current Living Wage rate to all staff and regular contractors.

We recognise that ensuring true diversity and inclusion is a long-term focus requiring ongoing commitment to create meaningful change. Part of this commitment is holding ourselves accountable to our three strategic goals and workplan actions including pay gap reporting.

Continuing our culture journey

Following Dame Margaret Bazley's 2018 review, we implemented a comprehensive culture transformation programme to address all the recommendations. We have since addressed all the recommendations, with some of these some involving long-term and ongoing actions (for example, that the Board and partners remain committed to leading a programme of transformational culture change). You can read more about this work here. We continue to build on this work and our commitment to having a culture where all our people can thrive. 

Our Social Committee

Our Social Committee helps to build a greater sense of community and friendship through social activities where everyone at our firm is able to get involved. It is a great way to break the ice for new employees, strengthens relationships across all of our teams, and creates a fun and supportive environment for all. 
Some upcoming events for 2023 will include our annual Summer Function, Quiz Night, Movie Night, and Children's Christmas Party. Other popular events to look forward to are themed Friday night get togethers, sporting events (tennis, rugby, marathons), charity fundraisers, and Random Act of Kindness treats!

Remuneration and Benefits

At Russell McVeagh, we believe in hiring the best talent. We offer a range of benefits to help our people both at work and with their work-life balance.
We aim to pay people at the top end of the market and review salaries regularly to ensure we maintain this position. In addition, we offer a variety of other benefits, including:

  • Health and wellbeing policy and initiatives including free, confidential and independent counselling services;

  • An extensive Learning and Development programme;

  • Exceptional performance awards;

  • Access to a number of workplace support services including an emergency nanny service;

  • An attractive bonus scheme for senior lawyers;

  • Long service leave, paid parental leave and an extra day of paid leave in our Christmas closedown period;

  • An annual solicitor’s allowance for solicitors with more than four years' experience;

  • Phone allowance;

  • Discounted premiums for Southern Cross medical insurance;

  • Regular social events;

  • Access to fantastic resources, including cutting-edge technology and one of New Zealand’s top legal libraries; and

  • A variety of gifts and celebrations.

Support for your life outside of work

Russell McVeagh aims to support all employees to be the best they can be in their professional and personal lives. There are numerous options in place to support each person's individual needs. Flexible working arrangements are possible for a variety of reasons, including family commitments, involvement in professional sport and continuing education. Our IT systems are such that people may work from home when necessary (depending on their role), and are able to receive reasonable reimbursements for use of their Smartphones if used for work purposes.

We also encourage our staff to take regular holidays and the firm closes for approximately three weeks over the Christmas/New Year break.