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Employment Law and Redundancy Rights

If you have been dismissed and feel that your employer acted unreasonably, or if you feel that you were forced out, then it is possible that you were the victim of an unfair dismissal.

If that is indeed the case, then you may be entitled to take an unfair dismissal claim to the Employment Relations Authority and be awarded compensation.

0800 Dismissed are the employment law experts – Call us on 0800 347 647.

Ask the employment law experts: What is an unfair dismissal?

There are several instances where dismissal could be deemed unfair and they usually fall into the following categories:

Your employer did not have a good reason for dismissing you.
Your employer did not follow the correct procedure when dismissing you and/or acted unreasonably.
You were dismissed for an automatically unfair reason, e.g. maternity leave.

What is constructive dismissal – forced resignation law?

Constructive dismissal is another form of unfair dismissal whereby the employee feels compelled to resign from their job due to their employer’s behaviour.

Generally, the actions of the employer must amount to a fundamental breach of contract and can include any number of violations under employee termination laws. Examples include:

Breaching laws against harassment in the workplace – harassing, humiliating or victimising particular members of staff
altering the employee’s job specification or contract terms without consultation
Violating employee relocation laws by changing the job location at short notice
excessive disciplinary actions such as demotion
falsely accusing an employee of misconduct

Employment law advice: Can I claim for unfair dismissal?

To be entitled to make an unfair dismissal claim and eventually go to an Employment Relations Authority, there are certain conditions that must apply to your employment circumstances and the manner in which you were dismissed. 0800 Dismissed can provide you with up-to-date employment law advice. Our team of legal advocates are ready to help evaluate your circumstances and work with you to provide employment law legal advice and to formulate a case.

Does your status as an employee entitle you to unfair dismissal rights?

An employee is a person who works under a contract of employment for his/her employer, whether this is a written or oral contract. Such a contract will usually involve (amongst other things) the employer paying the employee regular wages, giving the employee specific tasks to do, and providing them with the necessary tools and equipment for their job. A person who is self-employed (as a contractor for example), cannot claim for unfair dismissal.

If you have an employment law grievance and think you can answer YES to the above question, dial 0800 Dismissed. Alternatively, click the link to contact us.

Have you been dismissed?

Generally it is pretty clear whether or not you have been dismissed from your job, but there are occasions where an employee may have chosen to leave but the Employment Relations Authority will still accept that they have been dismissed. This is called a constructive dismissal. For those ambiguous cases, it can be of great benefit to have employment law experts by your side. To establish that you have been constructively dismissed, the employee needs to show that they left as a result of a “fundamental breach” of their contract by their employer. Some examples of such a scenario may be where an employer refuses to pay wages or asks an employee to do something which is illegal.

If you think you can answer YES to this question, you should proceed – Contact us.

Are you in an excluded category or out of time?

You must bring your claim within 90 days of the date of your dismissal. This is an absolute time limit and applications outside the 90 day limit are rarely accepted. You must therefore raise your personal grievance or submit your application to the Employment Relations Authority within the time limit, even if you are still going through your company’s complaints procedure.

The 90 day limit starts upon termination of employment.

If you think you can answer NO to this question, you should proceed – Contact us.

Was your dismissal fair? – Phone 0800 Dismissed for employment law advice.

If you have got this far then the penultimate question is “Was your dismissal for a fair reason?” If it was not then you may have a claim for unfair dismissal. It is up to the employer to show that the reason for your dismissal was at least potentially fair.

The legislation lists a series of categories of reasons for dismissal which are either automatically unfair, or potentially fair.

Violations of unfair dismissal law:

a) Dismissal which relates to trade unions – membership, taking part in activities, refusal to become a member.

b) Capability or qualification – dismissal of an employee who is alleged to be incapable of performing their job either through ill health or incompetence is potentially fair, as is dismissal if it transpires that the employee does not have the necessary qualifications for the job. An employer can dismiss for poor work performance, but only after assisting the employee in reaching the standard required.

b) Conduct – allegations of misconduct which are not true or where colleagues have instigated or manufactured evidence.

If you think the dismissal is potentially unfair you should Contact Us.

Employment Law Legal Advice: Did your employer use a fair procedure?

The procedural requirements for termination law will vary from case to case:
Did your employer thoroughly investigate the case?
Were you given an opportunity to put your side of the situation before a decision was made?
Were you informed of your right to appeal the decision?
Were you offered the opportunity to have a support worker or representative present?
Did an impartial person with the authority to do so decide the outcome?

If the above procedures were not followed Contact us.

Have you suffered a Personal Grievance?

A Personal Grievance complaint may be lodged when the actions of the employer amount to a breach of employment law and/or the employment contract and can include:
harassing, humiliating or victimising particular members of staff
altering the employee’s job specification or contract terms without consultation
changing the job location at short notice
excessive disciplinary actions such as demotion
falsely accusing an employee of misconduct

If you feel you have been victim to any of the above, Contact Us


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Constructive Dismissal NZ Advocates

0800Dismissed can deliver guidance and support for employees facing an employment law grievance. Our team of employment law experts will negotiate a Full and Final Settlement Agreement with an employer, attend mediation and prepare you for the settlement process.

Services available to employees regarding employment law legal advice include:

Specialist assistance in seeking a settlement
Providing guidance on employment law and legal cases.

You are invited to give us a call for a confidential, free discussion with an expert employment law advocate. Call us on 0800 347 647 today to discuss the potential for a successful unjustified dismissal case – remember: no win, no fee!

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A member of The Employment Law Institute of New Zealand. ELINZ Represents Employment Law Professionals Nationwide.