Employment Advocacy for problems at work
I work as an Employment Advocate in Auckland and Northland. I specialise in:
- personal grievances
- disciplinary actions
Who do I represent?
In most of my work as an advocate I represent individual employees. Although I sometimes represent employers, I generally help them develop policies and procedures, conduct investigations, or train their staff.
Mainly, I advise, represent, and advocate for employees who are having trouble at work. Sometimes the trouble is with a fellow worker, but more often with their manager or employer.
Most people who ring me for advice are uncertain about their legal rights. They are usually quite upset or angry about the way they have been treated.
Why engage an advocate for workplace disputes?
I am not a lawyer, but I have a very good working knowledge of employment law. Even more importantly, I have thirty years experience in conflict resolution. I listen well and understand the feelings behind many employment disputes. These skills give me a real edge in helping my clients decide what outcomes they want to get and in helping to get them.
When clients first contact me, they generally need advice about their rights and what they should do. Our first conversation is free, and I concentrate on getting the main features of their story about what has happened, and finding out how they would like the matter resolved. Then I can usually give them some brief advice and outline some options about what to do next.
“thirty years experience in conflict resolution”
Sometimes, brief advice is all that is needed and the employee can deal with the situation without any more help from me. More often, clients will want further help. They may want me to
- write letters of complaint
- support them at a disciplinary meeting
- formulate and raise a personal grievance
- negotiate with their employer on their behalf
- support them in mediation
- represent them before the Employment Relations Authority or the Human Rights Review Tribunal
I provide all levels of service, from advice and support, through representation in disciplinary proceedings, preparing personal grievances, negotiation of settlements and exit packages, assistance in mediation, to taking cases to the Employment Relations Authority.
Nobody likes trouble at work, and few people come through a disciplinary process or conflict with a manager or fellow worker unscathed. Some people are very badly affected. This is particularly common in cases of bullying or harassment. My thirty years clinical experience in dealing with workplace stress gives me the skills to recognise situations when medical assessment and treatment is indicated and I can advise clients to see their doctor.