How it works

To lodge an application, you need to include certain information and pay the fee. You can apply online, by post or in person.

The Authority will acknowledge your application and send a copy to the named respondent. Once they have received the documents, they will have 14 days to submit their statement in reply.

1. Check you are ready to apply

Before you apply to us for help to resolve a problem, we recommend you:

2. Complete the form

The form will ask you to:

  • provide the name and address of the person you are having the problem with ("the respondent") – this can be a person, a company or some other legal entity
  • explain in plain language what the problem is
  • state the facts that gave rise to the problem
  • say how you would like the problem resolved
  • attach copies of any documents that relate to the problem, including your full employment agreement document
  • explain the steps that you have taken to try and resolve the problem, either directly with the respondent, or through mediation.

Download the application form:

Application to Authority [DOCX, 29 KB]

  • If your problem is urgent

    To apply to have your problem considered urgently, you must:

    • explain in writing why the matter is urgent
    • provide supporting documents to show why the matter is urgent.

    We recommend you apply and pay online – this is the fastest and most efficient way of lodging your claim.

  • If you do not have the respondent's correct name or address

    You are required to include the correct name and physical address of the respondent on your application form.

    We will serve a copy of your application on the respondent at the address you provide – if the documents are returned to us undelivered, we might require you to personally serve them on the respondent.

    You may be able to find a company's registered address for service on the New Zealand Companies Office website.

    Companies register – Companies Office(external link)

    If you do not have access to the Companies Office website, contact us and we can search it for you.

    Contact us

  • If you want to include a third party in your application

    If you work in a "triangular employment" situation, you may want to include a third party as a respondent when you apply to have an employment relationship problem investigated by the Authority. 

    Triangular employment is when you are employed by one company, but work on a day-to-day basis for someone else. For example, you may be employed by a labour hire company, like a recruitment agency, and hired out to work for a third party. This is called triangular employment because there are 3 parties in the working arrangement: 

    • the employee
    • the employer
    • the third party - also called the "controlling third party". 

    You can apply to include the controlling third party as a respondent if you think they have caused or contributed to your problem. You'll need to fill in a separate form if you want to include them in your application.

    Application for joining controlling third party to personal grievance [DOCX, 24 KB]

3. Gather your supporting documents

You will need to include with your application:

  • your employment agreement (if you have one)
  • payslips from your employer (if you have these)
  • any correspondence (for example, letters and emails) between you and the respondent
  • notes from any meetings you have had about the problem.

Interim reinstatement

If you have been dismissed from your job and want to return to work (to be reinstated) while the Authority investigates your grievance, your application to the Authority must be accompanied by:

  • an "undertaking in relation to application for interim reinstatement" using the form below
  • an affidavit in support of interim reinstatement. An affidavit is a written statement voluntarily made under an oath or affirmation.

Interim reinstatement may also be available in other situations, for example if you want to challenge your suspension from employment.

Undertaking in relation to application for interim reinstatement [DOCX, 13 KB]

Interim injunction

In some cases the Authority can issue an interim injunction. This is an order stopping or requiring particular action until the Authority has investigated the whole matter.

An application for an interim injunction should also identify the final outcome you seek. It must be accompanied by:

  • an "undertaking as to damages". This means if you are unsuccessful on a permanent basis, the party which is affected by the interim order may ask you to account for any damages (or loss) incurred as a result of the interim order being made
  • an affidavit setting out your evidence in support of the application. 

The information in the affidavit should address the legal questions that the Authority must consider before determining whether or not to issue an interim injunction. This includes whether there is a seriously arguable case, where the balance of convenience lies for the parties and any affected third parties until the Authority determines the case, and what is the overall justice of the matter until then.

4. Lodge your application and pay the fee

Apply online

To apply online, you will need:

  • a RealMe® Login
  • a valid Visa or MasterCard or a bank account with ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, TSB or Westpac to pay the fee online
  • an electronic copy of your statement of problem
  • clear scanned copies of your supporting documents (in colour if possible).

Apply online now(external link)

You can track progress of your application online once it has been lodged.

  • Apply by post or in person

    • Contact your nearest Authority office to find out how you can pay the lodgement fee.
    • Post or take in completed copies of your Application to Authority form, supporting documents and proof of payment.

    Contact us

    Pay the lodgement fee

    The lodgement fee must be paid before your application will be accepted.

    Fees and costs

5. Acknowledgement of application

Once we have received your application documents and lodgement fee, one of the Authority Officers will send you a written acknowledgement.

The Authority Officer will be your point of contact throughout the process. They cannot provide legal advice or decide if you have a case worth taking further.

Using a representative and getting help and advice

  • Publication and non-publication

    Our determinations are a matter of public record and are published online once they are made. 

    In some special circumstances, we can issue a non-publication order to protect personal or sensitive commercial information from being made publicly available. Requests for a non-publication order need to be in writing. Ensure you include your reasons for seeking the order.

6. The respondent will be served a copy of the application

The Authority will send a copy of the application to the respondent at the address you gave in your application. Once they have received the documents, the respondent will then have 14 days to submit their statement in reply.

Next step: The statement in reply