Employee Services

If you are an employee having problems with your employer, we encourage you to contact us. There may be solutions available to get you back on track.


An employment agreement is a must for a new job. There should be a written agreement and a reasonable chance to seek advice before signing. You should always get professional advice before signing a contract or employment agreement.

Get advice on your employment agreement to protect yourself. This is your one chance to raise any issues or negotiate terms, before they become binding.

A well written employment agreement helps the employee and employer know what is expected from them and what they’re entitled to. This means misunderstandings are less likely to happen and if a problem does come up, the employee and employer can go to the employment agreement to clarify things.

It is important that you understand these terms. Many employees do not properly understand that they are on a trial period, or sign up for an unpaid work trial.

How we can help with agreements

Some employees never receive an agreement, or when they do, they are incomplete, unsigned, falsely represent an interview, or contain terms that are hard to understand, restrictive, or illegal.

We will review your agreement and help you negotiate terms and conditions if you are unhappy. We can point out any necessary amendments and ensure you receive the best terms that give you the ultimate job experience. Most importantly, we can ensure you are receiving the rights you are entitled to!

For more information on employment agreements and your rights, see Employment New Zealand. For independent advice, contact Zealand Employment today for a consultation.

Complaints and personal grievances

If you are being mistreated, you don’t have to put up with it. We can help you make sure your employer is accountable for their bad behaviour or actions. Raising a personal grievance should be done carefully, after obtaining correct professional advice.

You can raise a personal grievance against your current employer or a previous employer for any form of mistreatment in the workplace. If your grievance is successful, you will likely get compensation in the form of a money payout for the trauma you endured or lost wages. Professional advice and advocacy is the best way to succeed with a personal grievance.

You have a right to be treated equitably and reasonably by your employer. Raising a grievance can be stressful, and we’re here for you.

Personal grievances can be raised for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Unreasonable dismissal;
  • Sexual and racial harassment;
  • Discrimination; and
  • Threats

The first step is to try and resolve the personal grievance through discussion with your employer’s adviser or employment advocate. We can help with this. Depending on how serious your case is, the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) may also investigate. This can result in a hearing before the Employment Court.

How we can help with complaints and personal grievances

Zealand Employment is here to help you through the entire process of a personal grievance or complaint. We can help you from initially raising the complaint through to representation. Our advice about the process ensures you know your rights and the possibility of succeeding, even before you raise the grievance.

If you choose to proceed, we can represent you in any discussion with a adviser or advocate and speak on your behalf at mediation or negotiation. If you chose to go to the ERA or Employment Court, we can prepare your case and represent you through the entire process.

If you feel you are being treated unfairly, don’t wait. Get in touch with our in-confidence service for advice immediately. We can help you get the result you want.

Unfair dismissal

If your employer is trying to dismiss you without a good reason to end your contract, or if they are not following process fairly, you can make a claim against your employer. This can be done by bringing a personal grievance against your employer (see above).

Unfair dismissal is usually based on whether your employer follows fair process and has good reason to dismiss. If your employer is not following the correct process for terminating your employment, to the standard of what a fair and reasonable employer would have done, then they may be unfairly dismissing you.

You have a right to be treated equitably and reasonably by your employer. Raising a grievance can be stressful, and we’re here for you.

If they do not have good reason for firing or dismissing you, usually laid out in writing, then you can request a personal grievance. Talk to us about the best way to do this.

Your employer may have sent you a letter asking you to attend a disciplinary meeting, falsely accusing you of misconduct and using complex language. You may feel your employer is forcing you to resign. It is best that you are prepared before you challenge your employer, using advice and support from our employment advocates.

How we can help with unfair dismissal

Our employment advocate can advise you on the law, support you through any disciplinary meeting or mediation, and represent you. We can help you through unfair dismissal and make sure you are prepared before challenging your employer’s actions. We can help you hold your employer accountable and ensure they treat you fairly.

Sexual harassment

Nobody should have to put up with sexual harassment.

You are legally entitled to go to your workplace without anyone making sexual comments, sending you inappropriate emails or touching you in any way. Any unwanted sexual advance from your employer, co-workers or other people in the workplace is harassment.

Any verbal or offensive physical behaviour breaches your human rights and is punishable. This falls under the category of misconduct at work. Your employer has a responsibility to look into any claims you have, and you also have the right to bring claims against your harasser with a personal grievance.

How we can help you with sexual harassment

Any form of sexual harassment is violating and distressing. We aim to keep you safe in your workplace while we resolve the situation. We can help advise you about the law and how to seek disciplinary action. Our advocates can give you options for managing your complaint and workplace relationships. We can also confidentially prepare your written complaint. We can represent you in your complaint proceeding to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Migrant exploitation

Unfortunately, migrant workers can be targets for exploitation by employers who take advantage of their vulnerable situation. Examples of migrant exploitation include when your employer pays you below minimum wage, makes you work without a legal employment agreement or contract, forces you to work long hours without proper compensation, charges you

excessive amounts for accommodation or other services, holds your wages to pay off a debt, won’t let you take holidays, keeps hold of your passport, or blackmails you by threatening to revoke your visa status. Migrant exploitation is a serious crime.

How we can help you with migrant exploitation

If you are being exploited by your employer, there are ways to protect yourself and get justice. Contact us to talk confidentially about your situation. Even if you are not legally allowed to work in New Zealand, you should be protected against exploitation and we can help. We can negotiate with your employer, help you report your employer for a crime, or represent you in a legal case against your employer.

Other areas we can help you with
  • • Bullying •
  • • Wage arrears •
  • • Stress in the workplace •
  • • Discrimination •
  • • 90-day trial period •
Contact Us Today

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