Under Section 86 of the mployment Relations Act it is unlawful to participate in a strike (or lock-out) if it relates to a personal grievance.
Unlike an interpretation dispute, a personal grievance can only be raised by an aggrieved employee against the employer (not vice versa).
The onus of proof to justify action taken against an employee in a personal grievance case is on the employer. To justify disciplinary action or dismissal action the employer must be able to show that a fair and reasonable employer would have acted (not could have acted) in that way in all of the circumstances. This will involve, but is not limited to, showing good cause and applying a fair procedure. If an employee’s behaviour contributed towards the situation giving rise to the personal grievance, the Authority or the Court may reduce the remedies that would otherwise have been awarded.
Discrimination or harassment complaints can be pursued by the aggrieved employee under either under the mployment Relations Act or the Human Rights Act, but not both.