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Dog and a Machine: Conflict in the Workplace

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine, and we discussed his business and its challenges. He was complaining about issues he was having with his employees. The exact words were “bloody staff” followed by other words in a similar vein which I won’t bore you with. As the conversation progressed, he shared […]

5 Ways to Detox Your Work Culture

Retaining staff, inspiring teams to produce their best work, and having a collaborative environment all begin with a positive work culture. In any business setting, things go wrong, conflicts arise, and communications falls flat. These directly impact employee job satisfaction and will also lead to low levels of productivity. However, if you already have a […]

Is There Even a Workplace Anymore?

Without much time to prepare or plan, the pandemic demanded that we change how we operate on a day-to-day basis. In the beginning, change may have felt clunky and awkward as we all tried to figure out how to do everything differently. Work-life especially has shifted into a new space. Zoom calls and working from […]

What you may need to know about Triangular Employment Relationships

With the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Act 2019 officially coming into force on 27 June 2020, it is timely for employers and employees to be mindful of their current employment relationship structures and be aware of the new obligations the law creates in relation to personal grievances. Despite labour hire/temping agencies being a commonplace […]

Why is it easier to get money than an apology in mediation?

When it comes to mediation ‘sorry’ really is the hardest word. But why? And how can we change that? After years of mediating, I feel confident saying that it is easier to get money than an apology. And it’s something I’ve spent quite a bit of time pondering. It is a point of interest to […]

Mediation: Let’s talk about relief.

There is a point at the end of  most mediation sessions, usually after documents have been signed and water glasses and whiteboard markers are being cleared away, where one of the parties turns to someone, maybe the mediator or maybe one of their own support people, and says, “I’m so relieved.” Their relief is not […]

Personal grievances costly to defend

The EMA has released its annual analysis of personal grievance cases heard at the Employment Relations Authority, and again it was a sorry story for employers with employees’ winning 72% of cases. The average national award for hurt and humiliation has increased to just over $7,000 compared to $6,334 in the previous year.  Hurt and […]

What’s mediation all about?

When an employment dispute or personal grievance arises it can be very stressful for everyone involved. With work being a big part of most people’s lives, it’s understandable that when there’s an employment relationship problem in the workplace, it is important that they are dealt with efficiently, respectfully, and in a way that creates the […]

Changes to Employment Mediation Services

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is making changes to its Employment Mediation Services to ensure they’re organised and resourced to: continue to provide high quality mediations be flexible to meet demand and customer needs, and be responsibly cost effective These decisions follow a two-month consultation process on a change proposal put out on […]

I need some employment help!

If you are having a dispute with your employer/employee you should first try and discuss it with them. This isn’t always easy but it is a necessary step towards solving any dispute. If you can’t resolve the problem with your employer/employee then you have a few other options available: If you are an employee and […]

Unwise to breach confidentiality provision

A recent case demonstrates the consequences of breaching an agreed confidentiality provision. An ex-employee entered into an agreement to settle his personal grievance at mediation. The agreement provided, “These terms of settlement and all matters discussed at mediation shall remain confidential to the parties”. The employee’s workmates (the employee was employed by a new employer) […]

What’s mediation all about?

Mediation can be a highly effective way to solve employment relationship problems and personal grievances. It’s unlikely that both parties are going to be ecstatic about the outcomes of mediation, however the aim is to achieve a settlement that both parties can live with. Properly utilised, it can mean real savings in time and legal fees, […]

Court sets the bar high for waiving mediation confidentiality

An employee who wanted a blackmail threat allegedly made during mediation by her ex-employer’s representatives to be admissible evidence was unsuccessful before the Employment Court. The first ground for her application was that, being a criminal offence, the alleged blackmail could not form part of the “purposes of mediation” referred to in section 148 of […]