When to go to mediation

We recommend you go to mediation before lodging an application with the Authority. Going to mediation before you apply to us will mean your case is heard more quickly.

If we receive an application that has not been to mediation we will usually refer the matter to mediation as a first step.

If the Authority member thinks it will be helpful, they can refer parties to mediation at any time – including if you have already been to mediation.

What happens at mediation

Mediation is confidential – you cannot talk about anything that happened in mediation with the Authority or at Employment Court. This is so everyone can talk freely at mediation and try to reach an agreement.

At mediation you can:

  • make offers and counter offers “without prejudice” – which means that what you say at mediation cannot be held against you later
  • ask for remedies that are not available to you in the Authority – for example, being provided with a reference, an apology, an agreement to not say anything to discredit or disparage a party, and confidentiality.

Arranging mediation through MBIE

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment offers a free nationwide mediation service.

Mediation – Employment New Zealand(external link)