Our Blog

What is a disadvantage grievance?

An employee may bring a personal grievance for disadvantage if, “the employee’s employment, or one or more conditions thereof, is or are affected to the employee’s disadvantage by some unjustifiable action by the employer”. (Section 103 (1)(b) of the Employment Relations Act 2000). We have found that personal grievances for disadvantage can be a bit of […]

Employee with valid trial period wins disadvantage claim

Ms Balmaceda was employed by Amphibian Swimming Academy Limited (the respondent) as a swimming instructor on 10 June 2013 until she was dismissed on 15 August 2013 pursuant to a 90 day trial provision in her employment agreement. Ms Balmaceda filed a personal grievance alleging unjustified action by the respondent which caused her disadvantage. The […]

Recent case: Both old and new employers ordered to compensate employee after the sale of the business

When a business is sold, staff must be clearly told what is to happen to their jobs. If employment is to end, the vendor employer must carry out a proper redundancy process. If the purchaser wishes to employ existing staff, it must enter into new employment agreements with those staff. A failure to tell employees […]

What to do if you’ve been dismissed

It’s an awful situation to find yourself in, but it actually happens more often than you may think.  Being sacked, fired, or instantly (summarily) dismissed without notice can be a huge shock to your system, and your finances!  Feeling bewildered and not knowing where to turn or what to do is common.  So, to give […]

Reminder that employer’s are to ensure meal breaks are taken

In a recent case, an employee was awarded compensation of $750 because her employer did not advise her of her right pursuant to part 6D of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (the Act) to take two paid ten-minute breaks during her working day. The employee had been employed for three years. The Employment Relations Authority […]

Recent case: Final warning given 10 months after incident disadvantaged employee

When a disciplinary investigation takes a long time to complete, the employer should take into consideration the length of time that has passed when deciding on an appropriate outcome. In Hyland v Air New Zealand [2013] NZERA Auckland 108, a flight attendant who, after being woken roughly from sleep shook the person who woke her […]

Variation of terms, “custom and practice” and implied terms of employment

As a general rule, contractual terms cannot be varied without the consent of both of the contracting parties. However, an employer has a right to manage his or her business. The line between the employer’s right to manage, which does not require the consent of an employee, and a variation of contract, which does require […]

Suspension or sick leave?

Should employee be suspended on pay or given paid sick leave when employer deems he/she is unfit for work? Question: If an employer requests that an employee stay at home, or go home, because he or she is unwell or unfit for work, is this time off deemed to be sick leave and therefore able […]

Raising a Personal Grievance

An employee must raise a personal grievance with his or her employer within the period of 90 days from the date on which the action alleged to amount to a personal grievance occurred or came to the notice of the employee, whichever is the later, unless the employer consents to the personal grievance being raised […]

90-day Rule for Raising a Personal Grievance

In accordance with section 114 of the Employment Relations Act, every employee who wishes to raise a personal grievance must raise the grievance with his or her employer within the period of 90 days beginning with the date on which the action alleged to amount to a personal grievance occurred or came to the notice of […]