It can take a few weeks or a few months for an application to be processed, investigated, and determined by an Authority Member, depending on:

  • whether the application was urgent
  • whether the parties have tried to resolve their problem at mediation
  • the availability of the parties, their representatives and the Authority member
  • the complexity of the case.

The investigation meeting will take place as soon as practicable after lodging an application. The written determination is issued after the investigation meeting. Urgent matters and interim reinstatement or interim injunction proceedings will be heard more quickly.

How it works

1. Before you lodge an application

Find out who can apply to have an employment issue investigated by the Authority and when.

Who can apply to the Authority

We recommend you go to mediation before applying to us – if we receive an application that hasn’t been to mediation we will usually refer the matter to mediation as a first step.

Going to mediation

2. Lodge your application

Complete and lodge your application form and supporting documents.

You can lodge your application online, by post or in person.

Lodge your application

3. Fees and payment

Find out about our fees and how to pay them.

You must pay your application fee when you lodge your application. The application fee:

  • cannot be waived – everyone has to pay it
  • is not refundable if you change your mind or withdraw your application.

Fees and payment

4. The statement in reply

After you have lodged your application, we will send a copy of your application and supporting documents to the respondent you have named, along with a "statement in reply" form.

Once they have received the documents, the respondent will have 14 days to submit their statement in reply. There is no fee for this.

The statement in reply

Information for respondents

5. Representatives, help and advice

Find out:

  • who can represent you at your case management conference and investigation meeting, if you choose to have a representative
  • what help and advice the Authority is able to give you, including access to translators and help for people with disabilities
  • where you can seek further legal help or advice.

Representatives, help and advice

6. Witnesses

Your witnesses will need to:

  • write a witness statement
  • attend the investigation meeting in person to present their statement and answer any questions about it.


Acting as a witness at the Employment Relations Authority

7. The case management conference

The case management conference usually happens by phone and is brief and informal. It involves both parties and/or their representatives.

Not every case needs a case management conference. If we decide your case does not need one, you may still be asked to provide more evidence or clarify points in your statement before the investigation meeting.

The case management conference

8. The investigation meeting

The investigation meeting is where you (or your representative) will present your case to the Authority.

The applicant, the respondent and all of the witnesses need to attend the investigation meeting.

The investigation meeting