If you're fired or unfairly dismissed
If the process to fire you hasn’t been handled properly or the reason you’ve been fired isn’t valid, you can raise a personal grievance with your employer.
The right process to fire someone
Your boss must follow a fair process and have a good reason to fire you.
A personal grievance is a kind of complaint an employee can bring against an employer. For example, you can file a personal grievance if you think you've been unfairly fired — known as unjustified dismissal.
You must raise a personal grievance within 90 days. If you don't your employer doesn't have to do anything about your complaint.
Being fired during a trial period
Your employer can fire you without giving reasons or warnings if you’re within a 90-day trial period.
Changes to the 90-day trial period
If the Employment Relations Amendment Bill becomes law, only businesses with less than 20 employees will be able to use the 90-day trial period.
Subscribe to updates and read the bill.
Forced resignation or constructive dismissal
Constructive dismissal is when you resign because your employer has made work unbearable for you or pressured you to resign.
If you think you’ve been unfairly fired, get some advice about what to do.
If you belong to a union, you can get help from them when you have a problem at work.
Citizens Advice Bureau
You can drop into a Citizens Advice Bureau, phone or email for free advice about problems at work.
Their website has information about resolving employment disputes and other problems at work.
Community Law centres offer free legal information and advice to people who can't afford to see a lawyer privately. If you're eligible, they may be able to:
- offer ongoing legal assistance
- help you with mediation
- represent you at the Employment Relations Authority or court.
Get a lawyer
You can find lawyers through the New Zealand Law Society. Choose one that has 'employment' as their area of practice.
Mediation is free and private. Nothing said in mediation can be used later on if your problem goes to the Employment Relations Authority.
Employment Relations Authority (ERA)
If mediation hasn’t worked, you can bring your work problem to the ERA.
If you’re unhappy with the ERA’s decision, you can ask the Employment Court to take your case. You have to do that within 28 days of the decision.