Employment Law

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Employment problems affect people’s livelihoods and reputation. This can lead to huge amounts of stress to you and your family.

The law requires you to file a personal grievance or Employment Relationship Problem within 90 days, so it’s essential that you act quickly. If you have an employment problem, please contact us today to discuss the circumstances around your employment dispute.

Why choose Shine Lawyers?

Shine Lawyers NZ team of expert lawyers can confidentially advise and assist in resolving employment problems. Our focus is to give our clients the support and resources to resolve the employment dispute in your favour. Shine Lawyers NZ help clients take claims through the Employment Relations Authority, the Employment Court and Mediation.

Every employment arrangement should be in writing in an employment agreement.  If you do not have a written employment agreement, you employer should provide one.

Some of the employment issues we can assist with include:


Redundancies are common in the employment landscape. If you have been made aware of an upcoming redundancy or restructure you need to assess if it is a genuine restructure. This involves the employer explaining the real reason for making your position redundant.

Employers also need to ensure that they have followed the correct collaborative process in arriving at their decision to make your position redundant.  Your employment contract may have a set procedure and compensation provisions.  However, there is no requirement to have any minimum compensation.

If you think that a redundancy or restructure is not genuine or that your employer is not following the correct process, you may have a personal grievance, so we urge you to contact us.

The law requires you to file a claim for a personal grievance within 90 days, so you need to act quickly.

Contract for Service

Employers are increasingly using contractors or outsourcing to fill the roles typically occupied by employees. This is done to cut costs, provide flexibility and employ experts for specific projects. A Contract for Service does not have the same protections as an Employment Agreement therefore you need to get advice as to the genuine nature of the arrangement. Entering a sham contracting arrangement puts the employee at high risk of financial penalties. We can help you evaluate the true nature of the arrangement, either before you enter into an agreement, or if there is a dispute.

You have been fired

Employers have a duty to act in good faith. This applies to the reason for your dismissal and the process that they follow. If the dismissal is unjustified then you have an opportunity to make a Personal Grievance claim. This can lead to your reinstatement, and/or financial reimbursement and compensation.

While this is a difficult and stressful time, it is important to get legal advice promptly. The law requires you to file a claim for a personal grievance within 90 days, so you need to act fast. Contact Shine Lawyers NZ today to book your confidential consultation.

Disciplinary meeting

Disciplinary meetings can raise serious issues for employees. If there is an allegation of serious misconduct against you this could lead to your employment being terminated. The employer must follow a set procedure and give you advanced notice of any allegations against you.

Disciplinary meetings are serious, so you should seek legal help as soon as possible if you are asked to attend a disciplinary meeting.

Performance management process

Employers routinely monitor employee performance. When there is a perceived issue with performance, employers can initiate a performance management process or performance improvement plan (PIP).   Failure to meet the performance plan objectives can lead to termination of employment.

This can be a very stressful process for employees. It’s important to review the rationale and process that the employer is following.

If you have been made aware of a performance management process or performance improvement plan, we can help you through this process.

Poor treatment by an employer

Employers sometimes use their position of power to take advantage of employees. This can be in many ways:

  • Discrimination
  • Personal Improvement Plans
  • Bullying
  • Harassment (on grounds of race, religion, gender, difference)
  • Issues relating to sick leave
  • Disadvantage and unfair treatment
  • Underpayment
  • Unfair contract hours or conditions
  • Mental health or wellbeing issues

It’s very difficult to address these issues directly with the employer who may be the party responsible for the misconduct. If you are having issues with your employer, we can help you discreetly manage the issue and advise you on any potential personal grievance claim.

Employment Law Changes

Employment Law in New Zealand is currently undergoing change. The latest changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 focus on establishing minimum employment standards and increasing sanctions.

Employees should be aware of key changes to Paid Parental Leave, the minimum wage, reporting and time recording and the removal of “zero hour” contracts. So, if you are employed and do not have an employment contract, or you think your employer has not updated your employment contract we can help negotiate this process.

We can also provide advice if COVID-19 has impacted your employment contract. Read more here.

Contact us for a confidential consultation about your employment rights.

All discussions with lawyers are private and confidential.  Any discussions you have with our team will always be protected. This allows you to be open, honest and transparent so that we can correctly advise you on resolving your claim. Our confidentiality means that there is no reason for your employer or any other person to find out about any discussions we have.

If you have a personal grievance the law requires you to file within 90 days, so it’s essential that you act quickly. Contact Shine Lawyers NZ today if you would like to receive our legal advice on your employment matter. We can first offer a half hour teleconference consultation, followed by tailored written advice for a fixed fee, to assess the matter and provide general advice and advise if we can offer ongoing assistance.

Who is Shine Lawyers New Zealand's Employment Law team?

Shine Lawyers’ Employment Law team includes some of the firm’s most experienced solicitors and support staff. The team includes:

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