How to Fix Employee Problems

Problem Solving

a) Fixing the problem yourself.
The first steps are very important. You may resolve the problem without having to spend more time seeking mediation assistance or going to the Employment Relations Authority. Even if you do have to pursue the problem further, discussing and clarifying the problem first will save time in those processes. The following steps are a guide to resolving a problem.

First steps

  1. Be clear about the facts.
    Make sure that what you think has happened or is happening is not just based on an assumption you have made or a misunderstanding.

  2. Talk to each other.
    Employers and employees should try to resolve the problem by discussing it with each other. Both parties are responsible for this. Union members can ask their union, and employers can ask their employers' association, to approach the other party for them. If an employee believes they have a personal grievance, they must raise it with their employer within 90 days of the action complained of, or the date they became aware of it, whichever is the later.

  3. Clarify whether you do have a problem, and if so, what your problem is.
    Don't delay this step. Discuss your problem with family or friends or advisers to clarify what the problem actually is.
    You will need to find out what the law is and/or what your employment agreement says. You can:

    • search this site for basic information on employment rights, entitlements and your responsibilities, as well as information on employment agreements and employment law.
    • call us free on 0800 800 863.
    • email us for further information.
    • get pamphlets / fact sheets from Employment Relations Service offices or download them off this site.
    • talk to your union, or your employers' association, a lawyer, a community law office or an industrial. relations consultant. The Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to direct you to an appropriate person in your area. Any of them will be able to tell you what your rights and responsibilities are and help you consider your options.

Next steps

If the problem is not resolved by discussion, either party may:

  • Contact Employment Relations Infoline, who may provide access to mediation services (this can include making sure you have good information). The we have a range of services that may help, including information, mediation, or guidance on what services are available and how to access them.

  • Take the problem to the Employment Relations Authority for a decision. The Authority will consider whether there is still a chance to resolve the problem by mediation. If so, they may direct the parties to discuss other ways to resolve the problem.

  • If not satisfied with a determination of the Authority, go to the Employment Court for a judicial hearing. The Court may also direct the parties to get further mediation assistance if it thinks that may be useful.

  • Employees may ask a Labour Inspector to investigate the matter for them if the matter is covered by minimum rights legislation such as the Minimum Wage Act or the Holidays Act.