What is a Personal Grievance?
A personal grievance is a type of complaint that an employee may bring against a current or former employer.
The Employment Relations Act gives all employees the right to pursue a personal grievance if they have any of the following complaints:
An employee has a right to raise a personal grievance case under the Employment Relations Act 2000. This must be done within 90 days of when the grievance occurred or came to his or her attention. However, the employer may consent to a personal grievance being raised after that time. If the employer doesn’t consent the employee may apply to the Employment Relations Authority to be allowed to raise the personal grievance after the 90 day time frame.
Raising a Personal Grievance is an opportunity for an employee to seek compensation for unfair treatment at work, or for being unfairly dismissed.
How we can help
If you are not sure if you have a good case to bring a personal grievance or if you don’t know where to start give us a call :
We will assist you in managing the grievance or complaint by
- Advising you about the law, the processes and the possible outcomes;
- Representing you in discussions with the employer’s lawyer;
- Speaking on your behalf at mediation;
- Preparing your evidence for an investigation by the Authority and the Court;
- Representing you at the Authority and the Court
- Contingency Fees (i.e. No Win- No Fee)
The majority of our cases are undertaken under a contingency or “no win – no fee” basis. In simple terms this means that if we do any work for you and we are not able to achieve a successful result (ie you end up in the same position as you were in at the stage our company became involved in the case) – then there will be no charge for the services we have provided. However if we do any work for you and do achieve a successful result (i.e. you end up in a better position than you were in at the stage our company became involved in the case) – then there will be a charge for the services we have provided.
- Non Contingency Fees (Time and Attendance fees)
We also offer non contingency fee services such as representation at disciplinary or investigation meetings or for situations where a financial outcome is not being sought and our fee for this service is $250 + GST per hour.
Good employment relationships occur when everyone has clear expectations about the role, working conditions and employment rights.
Every employee must have a written employment agreement.
This can be either an individual agreement or a collective agreement which sets out the terms and conditions of employment.
There are some provisions that must be included in employment agreements by law, and there are also a number of minimum conditions that must be met regardless of whether they are included in agreements.
We are surprised at the amount of callers who have no employment agreements in place.
Under s63A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 an employer must provide an employee with a written employment agreement, and penalties may be awarded under s64 if no written employment agreement is provided.
Employees should be given a reasonable amount of time to look over their agreements and return them. An employer must ensure that the agreement is signed and returned to them before you start work. This is particularly important if the Agreement is relying on a 90 Day Trial Period being in place.
For example, a standard agreement clause allows the employer to deduct wages in lieu of notice. This is not enforceable without your signature on the agreement. The reason for this is because there is a separate piece of legislation that protects employees’ wages under the Wages Protection Act 1983. Under the Act you may not make deductions from employees’ wages without their consent. The employment agreement provides the consent that is legally needed to carry out any deductions in employees’ wages.
Our company is able to check your employment agreement to ensure that it meets the required standard – and also to resolve situations where your employment contract has been breached. Contact us if you have no employment contract and need our help to deal with your employer.
Call us on 0800 669 466 and let us connect you with the right people and proccesses to help you or email us using the form provided below.
Being in an unsafe working environment can make your job increasingly difficult. Employers must provide a safe workplace, with proper training, supervision and equipment. This duty includes identifying, assessing and managing hazards in the workplace, and investigating health and safety incidents in the workplace.
Employees must take reasonable care to keep themselves safe, and to avoid causing harm to other people by the way they do their work.
Employees may refuse work likely to cause them serious harm and employees have the right to participate in improving health and safety.
If you feel that you are working in an unsafe environment and your employer is unwilling to discuss or resolve the issue – contact us, our company can assist you in dealing with your concerns.
Please provide a timeline of events, and any evidence of you making your employer aware of the situation.
Bullying and harassment is also a health and safety issue. See our page on bullying here: Bullying In The NZ Workplace.
Is your employer restructuring your workplace?
Employers may need to make changes with restructuring in the workplace for a variety of reasons, such as:
The law requires employers to provide information to employees when they are considering changes that will affect their jobs and to give them an opportunity to contribute to any decisions.
If you find yourself in the position of being subjected to a restructuring process – our company can provide representation to ensure that your rights are upheld.
Check our page on redundancy
More: When is a redundancy not a redundancy?
Deductions on wages are governed by the Wages Protection Act 1983. No payments can be unlawfully deducted from wages.
It is the duty of the employer to make regular returns on PAYE on your behalf, in addition other deductions may apply including KiwiSaver, child support payments and student loan repayments. If you encounter a problem on payments of your tax we can help investigate. We can help ensure you are being paid above minimum wage for hours worked and the pursuant to your employment contract you are being paid at the correct rate.
If you have a problem with your employer making Unlawful Deductions from your wages we can help you get your money back and also help resolve any dispute you have with matter that led to the deduction. We can also help you if your wages are underpaid or late paid outside statutory provisions. We can look at your holiday entitlements that should be reflected in your pay.
Where you have any concerns regarding your pay contact us to discuss. Sometimes a wage problem is the beginning of a bigger problem with your employer. We can act quickly on your behalf to keep things from escalating.
Parental leave is governed by the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987.
Where you are entitled to parental leave your job should be there for you when you return.
It is very rare that a job cannot be kept open.
In most cases you are expected to give three months notice of your intention to take leave. There are often problems for the employer keeping a job open such a lengthy period of time and you need to check on several points both before and during leave. We can help ensure your job is still there when you return. Problems also arise when an employee seeks leave and the employment relationship deteriorates. We can help identify problems and resolve them on your behalf.
It is best to consult us before you tell your employer you are seeking parental leave to avoid potential problems. We can ensure your leave is handled appropriately. We can also help with problems of discrimination against women having children and remaining in the workplace including elements of age and gender discrimination.
If you suspect you are being prejudiced in the workplace in any way give us a call.