A “personal grievance” can be raised without using those words - Employment Law Update November

In a recent judgment, the Employment Court has considered the provisions of the Employment Relations Act 2000 relating to the requirement that an employee raise a personal grievance within 90 days of the action complained about occurring or coming to the attention of the employee: Chief Executive of Manukau Institute of Technology v Zivaljevic [2019] NZEmpC 132. The judgment discusses how communications from an employee to an employer can amount to the raising of a personal grievance even if the words “personal grievance” are not used by the employee.

The judgment also serves as a useful reminder to employers of the importance of including in an employment agreement a plain language explanation of the services available for the resolution of employment relationship problems.

Factual background

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) is an educational institution