Employment Relations

Introduction to Personal Grievance Procedure

The information below is a summary introduction and general guide only. This information is not to be relied upon and is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice. Detailed advice should be obtained to cover your specific factual situation.

Legal Street Limited can assist you resolve employment relationship problems and during all stages in the personal grievance process.

Personal Grievances are defined in Section 103 of the Employment Relations Act 2000. The term personal grievance is defined to include a wide range of employer actions that have detrimental impact on an employee in the course of their employment. In order to proceed with a grievance an applicant may need to prove that they are in fact an employee. If the person is an independent contractor they may not bring a grievance.

In general, the circumstances giving rise to a personal grievance must have occurred while in the “employee’s employment”. Nevertheless an employee may bring a grievance for disadvantage that is based on a term or condition that survives the end of the period of employment.

An employee can only raise a personal grievance against an employer within 90 days of the date on which the grievance arose or came to the notice of the employee. However, Section 114 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 allows an employer to consent to an employee raising a grievance outside the 90 day period.

Although a grievance may be raised verbally, an employee should write to the Employer or the Employer’s representative notifying them of the grievance and the grounds.

If no settlement is reached then the employee may commence an action in the Employment Relations Authority. This action must be filed within 3 years of the date on which the personal grievance was raised with the employer.

The Authority will normally require an attempt at mediation before proceeding to adjudication. If this has not been done, or the Authority considers the attempt inadequate, the Authority “must” direct that mediation services be used unless: the Authority considers that the use of mediation or further mediation will not contribute constructively to resolving the matter, or will not in all the circumstances be in the public interest, or will undermine the urgent or interim nature of the proceedings.

Once you are served with a Statement of Problem then you have 14 working days to file and serve a Statement in Reply.