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About the Employment Relations AuthorityThe Employment Relations Authority is an investigative body that operates in an informal way. It looks into the facts and makes a decision based on the merits of the case, not on legal technicalities. Unlike mediation where the parties reach agreement at the Employment Relations Authority an Authority Member will make a decision about your personal grievance.
The Authority is in three locations (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) and its members may travel to places where a problem has arisen.
Processes available to help sort out problems
The Authority can use a variety of ways to sort through the issues, such as:
The Authority must consider whether mediation will still be helpful in resolving the problem. At any stage in the proceedings it can direct the parties to try mediation, whether or not they have done so already.
Just as with Mediation employers and employees can choose to be represented in the Employment Relations Authority.
Your representative will be able to:
Applying to the Authority
When applying to the Authority, as applicant you have to fill out a simple form, called a Statement of Problem explaining in ordinary language what the problem is. The explanation should include the facts that gave rise to the problem and the way you would like the problem resolved. You then lodge your application by sending your completed form to the Authority together with the fee. Your employment representative will complete this for you.
The Authority will send a copy of your Statement of Problem to the other party, the respondent, who will be asked to provide a Statement in Reply within 14 days. The respondent should give his or her view of the problem in plain language, his or her account of the facts, and any steps taken to resolve the problem, such as mediation.
The Authority can contact either party to clarify any points made in their statements. It may also hold a "pre-investigation conference", perhaps by telephone or other means, to resolve some issues or discuss procedures for the investigation of the problem.
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