Ignoring a problem and hoping it will go away, often only leads to bigger problems later. Delays can also create added frustration and “avoidable distress”, with productivity, legal and cost consequences.
As noted, a process for issue resolution should be outlined in any employment agreement. A clear problem-solving procedure can help protect people’s rights, and provide information to support decision-making. It can also help ensure that the problem doesn’t get worse through inconsistencies or misunderstandings.
In some cases, process problems themselves can cause the breakdown of the employment relationship and lead an employee to claim unfair treatment, so it’s important to get the process right.
First steps in dealing with a problem
If either side believes that there is a problem, it should be raised as soon as possible. Everyone should try in good faith to resolve any problems themselves before looking for outside assistance.
It is critical that no one jumps to conclusions when an issue is first raised. Everyone should make any decisions fairly and consistently. This is usually not complicated – but each side should investigate, gather information and think before acting.
In all cases, everyone should be treated with respect and consideration.
Sensitive issues should be dealt with in a confidential manner – for example, by not conducting interviews in public or open-plan spaces. Both sides should try to set aside emotion and concentrate on identifying and addressing the underlying reasons for the problem.
It may help to have a third party present as a witness when a problem is discussed, to prevent misunderstandings. For instance, an employee may wish to have a support person, union delegate or other representative present. Both sides should keep notes of any meetings and any agreements reached.
In general, it is a good idea to:
Be clear about the facts
Make sure that what each side thinks has happened or is happening is not just based on an assumption or a misunderstanding. Employees or employers may get help to clarify the issue by talking to the Department of Labour or their own representative organisation such as a union or employer or industry association.
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.
Clarify whether there is a problem, and if so, what it is
This shouldn’t be delayed. The problem should be fully discussed to clarify what the problem actually is.
Consider what assistance is needed to help resolve the problem. Parties may consider whether mediation assistance might be useful at this stage.
It’s a good idea to know what the law is and what the employment agreement says and, if necessary, to consult an advisor.
The Department of Labour has a range of services including information, mediation and investigation, which can be accessed through the Department’s contact centre on 0800 20 90 20. Any possible breaches of minimum rights can be investigated by a labour inspector. The problem can be through the contact centre. referred to a labour inspector
If a problem can’t be resolved, parties can go to mediation, either through the Department of Labour’s or through independent mediators. If this does not resolve the problem, employers or employees can go to the Employment Relations Authority for a determination. mediation services
If either party is dissatisfied with the determination of the , the issue can be taken to the Employment Relations Authority. Employment Court
Win a double pass to THE COMMUTER
Looking up Liams filmography I was astounded that the sheer number of films he has been in. 135!... Join the Discussion..
Win New Zealand by Rob Suisted $49.99
Id love to send this to one of my American relatives to let them see what they are missing! Join the Discussion..
Netflix or Lightbox?
Both. There are things I watch on both. If I had to choose one I'd pick Netflix, but I'm glad I... Join the Discussion..
Where do you get your caffeine hit?
Wish they brought back the black V drinks Join the Discussion..
Win Kiwiana Uniquely New Zealand $24.99
This book would be an excellent addition to my personal library. Join the Discussion..
Surrounded by nothing but tranquil water, SpringBreak Fiji brings together the best of everything
The Fijian Cup
The Pacific Touch Rugby festival (Fijian Cup and Kava Cup) is underway on November 2, 2017 and with support from Touch Fiji and...
Rock Island VANUATU
Rock Island is an all inclusive fully immersive travel experience which was brought into the music festival scene by The Rock and...
With seven years and growing under their belt; TourismHQ has established and continues to deliver on their extensive wealth of...
- SPRING BREAK FIJI