|Approved by||Original approval unknown|
|Date Procedure Took Effect||1 November 2007|
|Last Approved Revision||1 November 2007|
|Sponsor||Director of Human Resources|
|Responsible Officer||HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration|
|Review Date||30 November 2014|
To provide a plain language explanation of the services available for the resolution of employment relationship problems,
The procedures apply University-wide.
1. Employment Relationship Problems
Employment relationship problems include such things as personal grievances, disputes about the interpretation or application of employment agreements, or other workplace issues that may harm the employment relationship, but does not include problems with the fixing of new terms and conditions of employment.
2. Raising the Problem
If you think you have a problem in your employment, then you should raise it with your Head of Department or Manager as soon as possible, so we can try and resolve it with you. If for any reason you feel unable to raise it with your Head of Department, you should approach another appropriate manager or an Adviser in Human Resources. In some cases, there is a time limit on when you have to do this - see "Personal Grievances" below.
At any stage, you have the right to seek advice and support from your union or a representative. We will work with you and that person to try to resolve the problem. Information may also be sought from the Department of Labour Mediation Service at any time.
4. Mediation Services
If we are unable to resolve the problem, then either party can contact the Department of Labour Mediation Service (a government department) for free assistance. The mediator will try to help us resolve the problem, but won't make a decision as to who is right or wrong unless both parties want this.
5. Employment Relations Authority
If the problem is still not resolved to your satisfaction, then you can apply to the Employment Relations Authority to have the problem investigated and a determination made. This decision can be appealed, by either party, to the Employment Court and then to the Court of Appeal.
6. Personal Grievances
If your employment problem is a personal grievance (i.e. unjustified dismissal, unjustifiable disadvantage, discrimination, duress, sexual or racial harassment), then you must raise it within 90 days of the problem actually occurring or coming to your attention for the first time. A personal grievance can only be raised outside of this timeframe with the agreement of the employer, or whether the Employment Relations Authority deems there to be exceptional circumstances.
You should raise any personal grievance with your Head of Department or Section as above. It is preferable that you put your grievance in writing, but this is not compulsory. You may ask your union or representative to raise the grievance on your behalf.
7. University of Otago Ethical Behaviour Procedure
Certain types of employment relationship problems may be able to be dealt with through the University of Otago Ethical Behaviour Policy, particularly problems involving harassment.
8 Human Rights Commission Procedures
If you believe you have a grievance based on discrimination or sexual or racial harassment an alternative procedure is available through the Human Rights Commission. However, you cannot refer your grievance to both the Human Rights Commission as a complaint and to the Employment Relations Authority as a personal grievance. You have to choose one option or the other.
Related Policies, Procedures and Forms
- University of Otago Ethical Behaviour Policy
- Good Employer Policy
- Equal Employment Opportunities Policy
- University of Otago Collective & Individual Employment Agreements
- Employment Relations Act 2000
Contact for Further Information
If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration at firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 479 8092.