The most effective ways to reduce the risk of a personal grievances is to ensure that there is a very clear employment agreement in place, workplace policies are clear and easily accessible, you are keeping good records, you are acting in good faith towards each other, and you know your obligations.  To read more about what to do if you already have a personal grievance on your hands,  click here.

Written employment agreements

It is a legal requirement that employers provide their employees with a written employment agreement.  It also makes good practical sense to set out the parties’ expectations, rights and obligations to each other, in order to avoid later confusion or disputes. 

There are several clauses that have to be included in an employment agreement, but these can change from time to time, as the law is being updated.  As an employer, you should be in the habit of regularly checking that your agreements are up to date (in terms of the law), but also in terms of the relationship between the parties.

Workplace policies

Employment policies are a good way to set out more detailed rules and expectations (for instance about internet use, privacy, health and safety, conduct at work, and so on).  Policies can be updated regularly to ensure that staff are informed about their obligations in the workplace. 

Record keeping

Keeping good records is not only a legal requirement, it also ensures that employers are able to comply with their obligations around health and safety, annual leave, sick leave, parental leave and so on.  Without good record keeping, disputes are highly likely to result, and can be costly to remedy. 

Duty of good faith

The duty of good faith is a mutual obligation that employers and employees owe to each other.  Acting in good faith towards each other means being honest and open with each other, and raising issues early on, so that they can be resolved before they turn into bigger problems. 

It can be helpful to put in place regular catch-ups and/or performance appraisals so that employees have an easy avenue to raise their issues before they escalate. 

Know your obligations

As an employer, you are required to familiarise yourself with your obligations and responsibilities to your employees.  If you are unsure about anything, you should seek help from a professional experienced in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.


If you are a New Zealand Super Gold Card Holder (Australian Senior Cards do not qualify) we will give you a 75% discount off our initial 1 hour consultation fee. We will also give you a 17.5% discount off the first matter we handle for you and then 12.5 % off any subsequent matters for you.  These discounts relate to your personal matters only (i.e. not business or organisational matters).