Have you been Fired, Sacked or Dismissed on the Spot?
This just shouldn’t happen under New Zealand Employment Law.
If your boss has fired or sacked you without warning you are likely to have a case and we can arrange to talk with your employer about a financial settlement or represent you at mediation or employment court.
The experience of losing your job is likely to be an unpleasant one and you will likely be very upset. We are great listeners, and you will feel better for picking up the phone and getting some expert help.
Do you need an Employment Lawyer? We do have an Employment Lawyer on our team who you can hire at an hourly rate. However we have a mixture of Employment Lawyers and Advocates, our whole team are Employment Law Experts, so you will be in good hands.
One of the biggest differences between lawyers and advocates is the way they charge for their services. Advocates can work on a contingency fee, which is commonly referred to as “no win – no fee”. This means if we take on your case we will charge you a percentage of any payout you receive. If you lose the case, you pay nothing.
We are Employment Advocates. We only get paid if we win your case. This means we need to be selective about the cases we take on. It’s absolutely free to call us and discuss your situation.
80% of cases are resolved prior to or during mediation.
If you are unsure whether or not you have a case just give us a call to discuss your situation.
Note: If you were violent or very abusive in the workplace, an employer is very likely to be justified in firing you and asking you to leave immediately, and it is unlikely we will be unable to assist.
Phone us on 0800 NO WIN NO FEE (0800 669 466) or fill in our form.
DISMISSED IN YOUR TRIAL PERIOD?
Both employers and employees have rights under the trial period law
Can you still have a case for unjustified dismissal if you are terminated under the 90-day trial period?
If your employer gave you an agreement but didn’t tell you there was a 90-day trial provision, (depending on the circumstances) – you may be able to raise a claim for unjustified dismissal.
If you started work before you signed an agreement (which contained a 90-day trial provision) – you may be able to raise a claim for unjustified dismissal.
If your employment agreement fails to appropriately specify when your 90-day trial period started – you may be able to raise a claim for unjustified dismissal.
* There is a catch though – if you believe you have a claim – you need to ensure you raise it no later than 90 days after the termination of your employment.
So if you’ve been terminated under the 90-day trial provision in your agreement, give one of the team at WorkLaw a call on 0800 669 466 to have a look at your agreement and let us see what we can do to help, or email us via our contact form.
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.
If an employer puts pressure (directly or indirectly) on an employee to resign, or makes the situation at work intolerable for the employee, it may be a forced resignation or “constructive dismissal”.
A constructive dismissal – forced resignation is where:
- the employer has behaved in a way deliberately aimed at causing the employee to resign
- the employee is told to choose between resigning or being dismissed
- there has been a breach of duty by the employer (i.e. a breach of the employment agreement or of fair and reasonable treatment) such that the employee feels he or she cannot remain in the job.
However, not all conduct that upsets an employee will be enough to lead to a constructive dismissal. The conduct must be sufficiently serious to justify the employee leaving his or her job. Also, there must be a substantial risk that the employee would leave his or her job as a result of the employer’s conduct, and this risk must have been reasonably foreseeable to the employer.
If an employee feels that they are being pressured to resign then best practice is to raise this with their employer so that there is an opportunity to discuss the issue and try to resolve it. If the matter cannot be resolved and the employee feels that they had no choice but to resign, then the employee can challenge the forced resignation by raising a personal grievance.
Always call us first, once you resign it is harder for us to get you a settlement.
If your boss asks you to resign, ask him/her to put it in writing eg a text or email.
Have you already resigned?
If you can answer yes to the questions below, then you may have good grounds to to claim you have been constructively dismissed.
- Did you really have no choice?
- Did you try everything you could to resolve the situation before resigning?
- Do you have good evidence of what you claim as the cause of your resignation?
Some other examples
- If you are given the option to resign or be demoted
- If you feel you are working in an Unsafe Workplace
- Assault on an employee
- Abuse of an employee
We are a No Win No Fee organisation. This means that we will only charge a fee if we are successful in obtaining a financial settlement for you in addition to other terms of settlement, e.g. written apology and reference, changed from being fired to having resigned. Contact us through our contact form. or call our helpline : 0800 NO WIN NO FEE
In business change is constant and often necessary. Redundancy happens to most of us at some stage in our work lives.
Redundancy need not be a tragedy. Handled well it can create a financial opportunity to take a long-planned step in your career or facilitate the move to a better job.
There should be a genuine reason.
Sometimes employers use ‘Redundancy’ to dismiss staff when they don’t have grounds for dismissal. If your employer says the business is struggling, but there is no evidence of that, or if you are the only person who is facing the redundancy process then it may not be genuine. Your employer can’t employ a new person to do the same job as you, but they may be able to combine two jobs. They can’t make you redundant and then advertise for someone to fill your role.
It is a genuine redundancy if a person’s employment has been ended because their employer has decided, for ‘genuine reasons’ that the employee’s job is no longer needed. A ‘genuine reason’ could, for example, be that the employer is making changes to enable the business to operate more efficiently and cost effectively; or closing down or selling the business.
Minor alterations to a job’s role and responsibilities should not be a reason for redundancy.
When can a person be made redundant?
Two circumstances need to be present in order for a redundancy to occur:
- The position must be superfluous to the employer’s needs.
For example, where a larger number of employees are employed than necessary to operate the business efficiently, certain positions may be disestablished.
- The position must actually disappear. The employer cannot claim redundancy by changing a job description slightly or employing new employees to undertake the same or a similar position.
- The employee must not be at fault
The decision must be about the position and must not be about an individual employee personally. The employer cannot use redundancy as a means of getting rid of under-performing employees or disciplining employees for misconduct.
What is the process for making a person redundant?
Your employer must follow the proper process when they need to make you redudundant.
Restructuring or redundancy must be carried out in good faith and your employer must not mislead or deceive you.
Your employer must;
- Give you written notice of a discussion/meeting. The letter should say that the meeting is to discuss redundancy or restructuring ;
- tell you the reasons for the proposed changes, and how they will affect your job;
- consult with you and anyone else who may be made redundant;
- give you a chance to get independent advice, and to have a representative or support person with you when you attend the meeting to discuss your possible redundancy or restructure;
- consider your suggestions before they make any decision about their proposed changes; and
- consider alternatives to making you redundant e.g. giving you a job elsewhere in the company or reducing the hours you work.
Check your Employment Agreement
What does it say about redundancy in your Employment Contract ? You should always make sure you are familiar with the terms of the employment agreement. This will usually have specific provisions dealing with redundancy process and any entitlements.
Under New Zealand law it is not compulsory for an Employer to pay redundancy compensation. Check Your Employment Agreement:
If your employment agreement mentions redundancy compensation, it will probably also show what the amount of comensation will be. If there is no mention of the amount it could be up for negotiation.
Notice of redundancy
If there is no specific clause in an employment agreement giving a period of notice in a redundancy situation, ‘reasonable notice’ must be given. The length of ‘reasonable notice’ depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- the reason for the redundancy
- the employee’s length of service
- the employee’s seniority and/or remuneration package
- custom, practice and industry norms
- the employee’s ability to find alternative employment
- the amount of compensation being paid (if any).
A ‘reasonable’ notice period is usually two weeks to a month.
If the redundancy is false and amounts to an unfair dismissal we can pursue a grievance on your behalf.
We can help you with all aspects of redundancy, if you are not sure give us a call 0800 669 466.
It’s free to discuss your situation with us.