When an employee feels personally aggrieved about a work situation in which they believe that they have been unfairly treated, they can find relief under the laws regulating personal grievance in the workplace. Covering any grievance against an employee, including unfair or unjustified dismissal, harassment, discrimination, duress or unfair treatment; if an employee has not followed the legal procedures or have a bona fide reason for a dismissal under the current employment contract and law, then you may be covered by the legal protection that personal grievances (PG) and unfair dismissal provides under New Zealand law.
Dismissals are occurring on a daily basis, and not all of them follow the correct and legal procedure set out. In New Zealand, the Employments Relations Act 2000 provides all those who feel that they have a case for personal grievance within the workplace to pursue a legal course of action, as set out in the Act. Many of the cases of PG in New Zealand relate to unfair dismissals, which can be both financially and emotionally draining on those who suffer such hardship.
However, the legal process is complex in bringing an action against unfair dismissal with specific procedures that must be adhered in order to raise a legitimate complaint. For these reasons, it is essential that professional knowledge and expertise is sourced in the form of specialist employment law specialists, who have a wealth of experience in dealing with cases involving personal grievance. Specialist employment lawyers will inform you of the correct procedures to attempt to resolve the personal grievance between yourself and the employee; as well as the legal advice to further such grievances if required.
The first stage of the process is communicating the PG to your employer. It is of the utmost importance to be aware of the ninety day limit that personal grievances can be actionable. If an employer is not informed of the grievance within ninety days of its occurrence, the employer has not legal responsibility to acknowledge or remedy the situation; as well as losing the right to further take action with the Employment Relations Authority.
It is important that the grievance is created in a written form; this creates a formal record and the foundation of the complaint. This letter should document the personal grievance itself; such as when it started, what happened, who was involved, what was your reaction, were there any accusations and what were the actions of the employer. Additionally, any documents associated with the personal grievance, such as disciplinary notices and letters relating to the event. Once this is completed, the professional advice of an experienced law firm specialising in employment law should be consulted. There are numerous procedural laws that have to be followed in registering a personal grievance and without the proper legal advice, even the most obvious of grievance cases may not be actionable.