The Employment Relations Authority has dismissed an employee’s application after the employee filed nearly 5 years after the events leading to a personal grievance occurred.

The employee resigned from her job in 2013, and subsequently, raised a personal grievance with the employer.  The employer investigated the employee’s claims and found that the employee had not been subject to the kinds of behaviour claimed in her personal grievance.  The employer concluded that the employee resigned on her own volition. 

In September 2018, the employee sought resolution of the issues through MBIE’s mediation services but the employer declined.  The employee then filed in the ERA.

Under New Zealand law, no action may be commenced in the ERA or the Employment Court in relation to a personal grievance more than 3 years after the date on which the personal grievance was raised. The employee’s application was dismissed because it was filed outside the three year time limit.

It is important for employees to take action swiftly after the events leading to a personal grievance have occurred.  An employee can raise a personal grievance in the 90 days following the events, or outside this time frame by agreement with the employer or a successful application to the ERA.  However, the ERA or the Employment Court does not have the power to extend the 3 year time limit, as demonstrated in the case above.


Ben Ruback
Employment Lawyer