Making a complaint

Complaints about the Authority must be made in writing. Please include:

  • the file number of the matter concerned
  • details of the complaint.


The Chief of the Employment Relations Authority
PO Box 2458
Wellington 6140


Our complaints process

If the complaint is about the Authority generally

The Chief may choose to refer the complaint to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

If the complaint is about a determination we have issued

It is your right to challenge a determination in the Employment Court or request a reopening of the Authority's investigation. 

If the complaint is about an Authority Member

1. Initial assessment of complaint by Chief

The Chief of the Authority will assess whether the complaint meets the eligibility criteria for it to be accepted.

A complaint may be dismissed at the initial stage without substantive investigation if:

  • the complaint is about an Authority determination
  • the complaint has no bearing on the function of the Authority
  • the complaint does not relate to the conduct or performance of the Member
  • the complaint is about the procedure adopted by the Authority, whether generally or in relation to a specific matter
  • the complaint is frivolous, vexatious or not in good faith
  • the subject matter of the complaint is trivial
  • the person who is the subject of the complaint is no longer a Member
  • the complaint is anonymous or not in writing
  • the complainant is not a person affected by the conduct or matter they are complaining about
  • the complaint is not made with due particularity, or
  • the complaint has not been lodged within 3 months.

Following the initial assessment, the Chief of the Authority may:

  • dismiss the complaint
  • accept that the complaint requires a response and implement that response, or
  • refer the matter for further investigation.

2. The Chief considers the matter substantively

If the complaint is accepted, the Chief considers the complaint substantively. Where in the Chief’s discretion circumstances warrant it, they may choose to refer the matter to a third party for further investigation or advice.

3. The Chief determines the matter

The Chief may:

  • take no further action 
  • propose appropriate sanctions, for example an apology, training or practice improvements, or
  • where a member’s conduct is below the standard such that it may constitute grounds for removal by the Governor-General, refer the matter to the Minister for consideration.