Employees: Talk before you Walk

Everyone has workplace complaints from time to time, from workplace politics to being assigned that dreaded task.

But if you are facing an issue at work so serious that you are thinking about resigning, visiting an employment lawyer sooner rather than later could make all the difference.

It is not uncommon for employees to resign, often in the heat of the moment, before seeking advice from a lawyer to learn their rights. While this may make for a dramatic exit it does make the path to a fair outcome significantly more difficult.

In New Zealand employees can bring personal grievances against their employer if they believe their rights have been infringed. If the personal grievance is upheld, they are entitled to remedies such as reinstatement to their former position, reimbursement of lost wages and compensation.

The majority of personal grievances relate to employees whose employers have dismissed them or caused them a workplace disadvantage without justification.

Resigning before raising a personal grievance makes it difficult to establish a dismissal. You could argue that you have been constructively dismissed; that your employer has caused your work conditions to become so intolerable that you were compelled to resign. This is a threshold that can be difficult to meet.

Visiting an employment lawyer during the early stages of an employment problem significantly increases your chances of arriving at a positive outcome:

1.     Firstly, you may be able to repair the damaged employment relationship through dialogue. Sometimes it is just a simple misunderstanding without malice on either side’s part.

2.     Alternately, you may be able to come to an agreement with your employer and salvage your job. This may involve compensation for any disadvantage caused.

3.     If the damage to the employment relationship is too great, you may be able to reach an exit settlement. This could include redundancy entitlements, compensation, an apology, and/or a positive reference letter for your next employer.

If you have any employment issues or questions about your rights, give Buckettlaw a call.


although BuckettLaw is based in Wellington City, it services clients throughout New Zealand, with a focus on servicing employees and organisations in certain regions.

Wellington City.
Porirua City & wider North Wellington Area.
Kapiti Coast (Te Horo, Waikanae, Paraparaumu, Raumati & Otaki ).
Lower Hutt & Upper Hutt.
Masterton City & wider Wairarapa Region.
Palmerston North City & wider Manawatu-Wanganui Region.

Hawkes Bay (Napier, Hasting & Havelock North).
New Plymouth & wider Taranaki Region.
Hamilton, Taupo & wider Waikato Region.
Tauranga, Rotorua & wider Bay of Plenty Region.

Nelson City & wider Nelson-Tasman Regions.
Blenheim & wider Marlborough Region.


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Located in the heart of Wellington City, BuckettLaw services clients nationwide, with a strong presence in certain regions. If you are unsure whether you need an employment lawyer, or want a preliminary discussion on your employment issue, get in touch with one of our employment lawyers right away.
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As employment law experts, we provide specialist legal advice, support and advocacy for employers and employees nationwide.
Your first email or phone contact is free.
P: +64 4 472 8600
E: reception@buckettlaw.co.nz

Physical Address:
1/309 Willis Street
Te Aro, Wellington

Postal Address:
PO Box 6137
Marion Square, Wellington 6141

Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30AM-5:00PM