How the Authority works
The Authority operates in a mostly informal way. It looks into the facts of a case and makes decisions based on the merits of the matter, not on technicalities.
When you lodge a problem with the Authority, they will seek a response from the other party and arrange a timetable for the Authority’s investigation. A case management conference will be set up to identify what the issues are. This is usually done by phone. The Authority may also ask for more information.
An investigation meeting is then held with all of the parties and a member of the Authority. This is where the issues get discussed and investigated. Witnesses usually attend the meeting to answer questions. Members of the public may attend unless excluded by an Authority member.
A member of the Employment Relations Authority will investigate your case. Members are independent. You cannot talk directly with an Authority member. Members will only speak to parties if both sides are present, such as at the case management conference or investigation meeting.
After this meeting the Employment Relations Authority member who presides over the investigation will consider the evidence and issue a decision in writing, called a determination. The determination is legally binding.
At any stage in the process the parties can ask the Authority to make a recommendation on how the problem might be resolved. This request must be in writing. If accepted by the parties the recommendation becomes final and binding.
James Crichton (Chief of the Employment Relations Authority)
Peter van Keulen