Employees: Talk Before You Walk

May 7th, 2020 - Barbara Buckett

Employees: Talk before you Walk

Everyone has workplace complaints from time to time, from workplace politics to being assigned that dreaded task.

But if you are facing an issue at work so serious that you are thinking about resigning, visiting an employment lawyer sooner rather than later could make all the difference.

It is not uncommon for employees to resign, often in the heat of the moment, before seeking advice from a lawyer to learn their rights. While this may make for a dramatic exit it does make the path to a fair outcome significantly more difficult.

In New Zealand employees can bring personal grievances against their employer if they believe their rights have been infringed. If the personal grievance is upheld, they may be entitled to remedies such as reinstatement to their former position, reimbursement of lost wages and compensation.

The majority of personal grievances relate to employees whose employers have dismissed them or caused them a workplace disadvantage without justification.

Resigning before raising a personal grievance makes it difficult to establish a dismissal personal grievance. You could argue that you have been constructively dismissed; that your employer has caused your work conditions to become so intolerable that you were compelled to resign. This is a threshold that can be difficult to meet.

Visiting an employment lawyer during the early stages of an employment problem significantly increases your chances of arriving at a positive outcome:

  1.  Firstly, you may be able to repair the damaged employment relationship through dialogue. Sometimes it is just a simple misunderstanding without malice on either side’s part.

  2.  Alternately, you may be able to come to an agreement with your employer and salvage your job. This may involve compensation for any disadvantage caused.

  3. If the damage to the employment relationship is too great, you may be able to reach an exit settlement. This could include redundancy entitlements, compensation, an apology, and/or a positive reference letter for your next employer.

If you have any employment issues or questions about your rights, give Buckettlaw a call.

Note: BuckettLaw takes no responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of our articles. Any views expressed or comments made in an article are the writers option only. The content in our articles does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal or expert advice you should obtain specific advice about your case or matter from a professional. For legal advice based on your individual situation please contact us to speak with one of our expert lawyers.

Enjoy a complimentary 15-minute phone call as a first-time offer.

Barbara Buckett

Barbara Buckett is a highly experienced senior employment lawyer with over 35 years of practice in New Zealand. She provides expert advice on all areas of employment law and has a proven track record of delivering excellent results for clients. Barbara has extensive experience in resolving workplace issues and is an experienced litigator. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, working out, and fine wine and dining with friends.

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