Buildmedia employment relationship policy

Responsibility for policy: Studio Manager

Approving authority: Managing Director

Last reviewed: August 2022

Next review date: August 2027

Employment Relationship Problems

What is an employment relationship problem?

An employment relationship problem is where you feel you may have been treated in an unfair manner with regard to your terms and conditions of employment or your relationship with your employer

An employment relationship problem includes a “dispute” or a “personal grievance”, both of which are explained below.

What is a dispute?

This is where there is a dispute about the interpretation, application, or operation of your employment agreement.

What is a personal grievance?

A personal grievance is where you feel you have been:

  • Dismissed in an unfair manner and/or without sufficient reason;
  • Unfairly disadvantaged in your employment;
  • Subject to illegal discrimination;
  • Sexually or racially harassed; or
  • Forced into membership or non-membership of a union, unfairly because of involvement in the representation of employees

Time limit for raising a personal grievance:

You must raise your personal grievance within 90 days from when:

  • The action causing your grievance occurred, or
  • You became aware of the circumstances causing your grievance. (see Section 114 of the Employment Relations Act 2000).

Request for reasons for dismissal

If you have been dismissed, you may request a written statement of the reasons for your dismissal within 60 days after the dismissal or after the date you become aware of it. When you make this request, your employer has 14 days to respond in writing.

Resolving Employment Relationship Problems

The chart on the following page explains the services available to you to solve an employment relationship problem. Before using those services, the following 3 steps may help you resolve your problem.

First steps

Talk to the Studio Manager

Raise the problem with the Studio Manager and discuss it informally with him or her. You could ask a support person, your union or other representative to approach the Studio Manager or employer if you do not feel comfortable doing so. Alternatively, you can be accompanied by a support person, your union or other representative when you make the approach.

Set out your problem in writing

If your informal discussions with the Studio Manager do not resolve your problem, you could write to the Studio Manager setting out:

  • Your perception of what the problem is, and
  • Your suggested solutions.

You may want to seek help from a support person, your union or other representative when writing this letter. Alternatively, a support person, your union or other representative can write the letter for you.

In your letter, ask the Studio Manager to respond within 14 days advising:

  • Their view on the problem, and
  • Any suggested solutions.

Meet with the Studio Manager

Arrange to meet with the Studio Manager to discuss the problem and attempt to resolve it. This meeting should take place as soon as practicable after the exchange of letters. You can choose to have a representative or support person at this meeting

Services available for resolving employment relationship problems

This is only a guide to the services available for resolving employment relationship problems, and you should also seek advice from your union or other representative, or refer to Part 10 of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

Employment relations infoline

The Employment Relations Infoline is run by the Department of Labour and provides information to employees and employers, or may refer them to the Mediation Service.

Either the employer or employee can contact the Employment Relations Infoline on 0800 90 20 90 or by visiting the website

Mediation service

Mediation is an important method of resolving problems. The Mediation Service has mediators who are available to assist the parties agreeing on a resolution to their problem. This can be initiated by either the employer or employee contacting the Employment Relations Infoline on 0800 90 20 90. The parties may also choose to have the mediator make a decision about the problem which will be binding on them

Employment relations authority

You may apply to the Employment Relations Authority who will investigate the problem and make a decision. The Infoline can assist with information on this process ph 0800 90 20 90. You must complete a form called a Statement of Problem, setting out your problem. Your employer will then fill out a statement in reply which details its view.

The Employment Relations Authority will then investigate the problem and may hold meetings or interview anyone involved. It can also direct you to try mediation, whether or not this has already happened

Employment court, court of appeal, supreme court

Either party may appeal an Authority decision in the Employment Court within 28 days, where a full judicial hearing will occur.

There are further limited rights of appeal to the Court of Appeal and/or the Supreme Court.