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When you have a problem at work

If you have a problem at work talk to your boss directly. If you cannot solve it you can get help from government and other organisations. Some of this help is free.

Talk to your boss first

Talk to your manager first if you have a problem at work. Employment New Zealand has information on resolving problems and such things as:

Ways to resolve an employment problem

There are steps to take when trying to resolve an employment problem. Employment New Zealand has information on:

If you and your manager cannot agree you can get help to resolve an employment problem through:


Mediation is free and confidential. You can take a representative, such as a union representative or lawyer, and support person with you. See the Employment New Zealand website:

Legal help

Community law centres offer free legal information and advice to people who cannot afford to see a lawyer privately.

Labour Inspectorate

A labour inspector can investigate to find out if your work follows minimum employment standards and laws, and you’re getting what you’re entitled to by law, for example, paid holidays or minimum wages.

If your problem is not resolved through mediation or other ways

If mediation has not worked, you have other options.

Personal grievance

Take a personal grievance against your employer — you must raise a personal grievance within 90 days of the incident.

Personal grievances — Employment New Zealand

Employment Relations Authority

Bring your employment problem to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

Resolution process — ERA

Employment Court

If you’re unhappy with the ERA’s decision, ask the Employment Court to take your case — you have to do that within 28 days of the ERA’s decision.

Apply to the Employment Court — Ministry of Justice

Human Rights Review Tribunal

Make a complaint to the Human Rights Review Tribunal if your employment problem relates to breaches of human rights and privacy in employment, for example, discrimination, sexual harassment, racial harassment, and breaches of privacy under the Privacy Act 1993.

Note you cannot claim in both the Human Rights Review Tribunal and the ERA.

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