Any problem relating to or arising out of the employment relationship including a personal grievance (PG) or dispute but not problems relating to the setting the terms and conditions of employment. Note: a PG must be raised within 90 days of when the facts that give rise to the grievance occurred or came to the employee’s attention.
Initially the employee should raise the matter with you (their manager). You then check the facts clarify the problem and try to fix it directly and quickly with the employee. The employee is entitled to involve a representative.
If that doesn’t work, or the employee considers it isn’t appropriate to raise it with you (e.g. their complaint is about you) you refer to the next level of management. Ask for the complaint in writing. The employee is entitled to involve a representative.
If the problem can’t be fixed ‘inside’ the business the employee can contact the Ministry of Business, Innovation & mployment (MBI), who can provide information and/or refer them to mediation. Typically by this point the matter has become a Personal Grievance(PG) and follow the Procedure for PG’s. A PG is typically solved either through Mediation or, if that is unsuccessful, in the mployment Authority. The remedies available to a successful applicant depend on the circumstances and the degree to which they may have contributed to the situation giving rise to the PG. Generally, any problem that can’t be solved within the business (whether a PG or not) initially goes to Mediation. Mediation involves a Mediator appointed by the Ministry hearing both sides of the matter and trying to facilitate an agreement. If agreement is reached by both parties the matter stops with the agreed outcome recorded in a ‘settlement agreement’. Depending on the nature of the problem, the issues involved may also be ones that a Labour Inspector employed by the MBI can assist with i.e. minimum statutory entitlements such as holidays or arrears of wages provisions.
A Settlement Agreement officially records the outcome of the successful mediation. It generally requires the parties to keep all aspects of the settlement confidential to themselves.
- ither party can appeal the RA’s decision within 28 days to the Employment Court for a judicial hearing.
- The Court can review either part or whole of the Authority decision.
- Further appeal only if leave granted to Appeal Court on a point of law.
If the problem is not resolved, then the employee can apply to the Employment Relations Authority (RA) for assistance. The RA can either direct the parties to mediation, or it can formally investigate. RA hearings typically involve evidence on oath from witnesses, then submissions of parties then a decision by the RA.