Personal Grievance

Call today for a free initial chat with an Employment Lawyer on (09) 214 5780.*

What is a personal grievance?

A personal grievance is a type of complaint that employees can bring against their employer or their former employer.  For certain claims, an employee cannot make an application to the Employment Relations Authority unless he or she has first raised a personal grievance with his or her employer or former employer.

A personal grievance is limited to complaints an employee may have against his or her employer or former employer arising from specific types of claims. These claims include (but are not limited to):

Who can raise a personal grievance?

Only employees can bring claims for personal grievances. (See Employment Status – Employee or Contractor?)

How can an employee raise a personal grievance?

A personal grievance is raised as soon as the employee has made, or has taken reasonable steps to make, the employer or a representative of the employer aware that the employee alleges a personal grievance that the employee wants the employer to address.

An employee does not have to raise the personal grievance in writing. However,  it is sensible to do so or at least to follow up with a letter or an email. What is important is that the employer has enough information to be able to respond to the grievance. In other words, the employee should detail the nature of the problem. While it is not strictly necessary to do so, the employee should state that he or she is raising the matter as a personal grievance.

Are there time limits for raising a personal grievance?

A personal grievance must be raised within the later of 90 days of the date on which the action (or failure to act) alleged to amount to a personal grievance occurred or the date on which the action alleged to amount to a personal grievance came to the employee’s attention. Employees who have not raised a grievance within the 90 days time limit should swiftly seek advice to see if steps can be taken to remedy the situation. 

Are there time limits for making an application to the Employment Relations Authority?

Yes, an application to the Authority must be made within 3 years of the date on which the personal grievance was raised. For several reasons, it is not advisable to wait that long. Employees who have are considering making an application to the Employment Relations Authority should promptly seek advice on the applicable time limits and reasons why it may be advisable to make an application swiftly.

If you think you have grounds for a personal grievance, contact us on (09) 214 5780. We can help you with preparing the grievance and advising you on your claims. 

* Provided we do have a conflict of interest and that there is no other reason why we could not act, we are happy to have initial 15 minute telephone consultation free of charge.

Disclaimer: The above information is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on the information given.