top of page

Employer Guide: What are Personal Grievances (Part 2)

#employerguide So now you know about the basics of a personal grievance, let's talk about why they might be raised and some scenarios.

If you haven't read Part 1, we'd recommend checking this out first.

An employee might raise a personal grievance in New Zealand for a variety of reasons. Here are a few examples:

Unjustified dismissal

This is when an employee believes that they were fired without proper justification, such as for discriminatory reasons or without following the correct disciplinary procedures.

Example: Jon dropped a pallet of stock yesterday, and his supervisor told him to pick up his things and not return.


This could involve verbal or physical abuse, or persistent unwanted behavior, such as bullying, racism or sexual harassment.

Example: Sarah works in a restaurant and her co-worker keeps telling her that she is "too fat" to work behind the bar.

Failure to follow proper employment procedures.

This includes situations where an employer does not follow the correct procedures for things like redundancy or restructure, or where they do not provide the proper notice of changes to an employee's employment conditions.

Example: Justin was late to work today and his boss immediately gave him a written warning. without following any process.

Unpaid wages

In addition to paying below minimum wage, this could include an employer withholding an employee's final pay, docking pay without agreement, or reducing an employee's pay rate without their agreement.

Example: Aroha's employer keeps deducting from her pay without her consent because she scratched the work van during a delivery.

It's important to note that these are just a few examples, and there are many other issues that could give rise to a personal grievance. As an employer, it's crucial to take all grievances seriously and investigate them thoroughly to find a fair and just resolution. Failure to do so may escalate a more minor niggle into an untenable situation and risk the employee feeling constructively dismissed.

Want to know more about constructive dismissal? Click here


bottom of page