Thinking about changing jobs?
Every employee is entitled to be provided with a copy of their proposed Individual Employment Agreement (IEA) before starting a new job. An employer must also advise the employee that he/she is entitled to seek independent advice about the intended IEA and must give the employee an opportunity to actually seek that advice. Importantly, the employee is required by law to consider any issues the employee raises and to respond to those issues in good faith.
It is also important to ensure that the terms of an employment agreement are not unduly harsh or oppressive. Provisions such as restraints of trade and provisions dealing with redundancy can have serious implications for an employee upon termination of the employee’s employment.
If you are being asked to sign an employment agreement and you have doubts or concerns about it, ask Buchanan Gray for professional independent employment advice before you sign it.
Are you being pressured to resign?
Do you feel that your employer wants you to leave or is trying to get rid of you? If so, you may be able to obtain redress for constructive dismissal. If you are in this situation it is vital that you do not simply react by resigning – ask Buchanan Gray for professional independent employment advice first.
By asking you to leave or by putting pressure on you to resign, your employer may be acting unlawfully and/or breaching a fundamental term of your employment agreement and in doing so, irreparably damaging the relationship of trust and confidence which must exist in all employment relationships. However, constructive dismissal can be very difficult to establish. Before your workplace gets too much for you, approach Buchanan Gray today for professional independent employment advice.
Does your employer want to get rid of you?
Some employers seem to think that if they want to get rid of an employee they can do so under the guise of redundancy. It is now more important than ever to examine whether a redundancy is genuine or not. It is equally important to ensure that even if a genuine need to restructure exists, your employer acts as a good employer and follows the correct procedure. Some employers restructure on paper without actually altering either the roles or the lines of communication. Motive can also be an important consideration. If you know that your employer is trying to use redundancy as an excuse to get rid of you, there are remedies available – contact Buchanan Gray for professional independent employment advice immediately.
Have you been unjustifiably dismissed?
If you have been dismissed without good cause or if your employer has failed to follow a fair process leading up to the decision to terminate your employment, you may have been unjustifiably dismissed in which case you will have a remedy available in the form of a personal grievance. Deciding whether to bring a personal grievance is not always easy. However, Buchanan Gray is here to help so contact us today for professional advice and assistance.
Have you been unlawfully disadvantaged?
If you have been disadvantaged in your employment, examine how it came about. Has your employer unilaterally altered important terms of your employment or the conditions under which you work, to your disadvantage? Have you been treated unfairly by your employer? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” you may have been unjustifiably disadvantaged by some wrongful act on the part of your employer and you may well have a personal grievance for which you can claim redress. Seek advice.
Did you know that no-one may unilaterally alter the terms of an Employment Agreement?
You are not permitted to do it and neither is your employer. Significant variations to your Employment Agreement should be made only after consultation and only where agreed by both parties. Ideally, any variations which are agreed should be recorded in writing and signed by both parties. A letter informing you of the change is not enough unless you agree. If in doubt, obtain employment advice.
Have you been or are you being harassed and/or discriminated against at work?
If you are being harassed or discriminated against in your employment you may have redress under either the Human Rights Act or the Employment Relations Act, but not both. Discrimination has the same definition in both Acts. Prohibited grounds of discrimination are: sex (including pregnancy and childbirth), marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, age, political opinion, employment status, family status, and sexual orientation. The decision as to which Act you bring a claim under may depend on a number of factors including the desired outcome, the time frame involved and the likely cost. If you have been subjected to harassment and/or discrimination contact Buchanan Gray for confidential employment advice.
Are you being required to attend a disciplinary meeting?
If your work performance is being questioned or if you are facing a complaint at work about your conduct you may find that your employer wants you to take part in some type of disciplinary process which may have one of several possible outcomes. Sometimes matters can be resolved in an informal discussion but often more formal procedures are adopted which may result in a formal warning being issued or, worse, in your employment being terminated. If you have been requested by your employer to attend a formal disciplinary meeting, seek our advice before you attend. In some cases it may be appropriate to have our employment advisor attend the meeting with you in a representative capacity.
For all personal grievances – take note:
If you are going to bring a personal grievance, you only have a period of 90 days in which to do so and time begins to run on the date on which the facts giving rise to the grievance arose. If you are outside of this time frame then time can be extended by agreement with the employer or, if the employer will not give consent, by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) but only if the ERA is satisfied that the delay in bringing the grievance occurred as a result of “exceptional circumstances”.
For professional, confidential, and independent employment advice and assistance contact Russell@BuchananGray.co.nz
or simply phone us today.