Section 114 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 sets out how personal grievances may be raised by employees:
(1) Every employee who wishes to raise a personal grievance must, subject to sections (3) and (4), raise the grievance with his or her employer within the period of 90 days beginning with the date on which the action alleged to amount to a personal grievance occurred or came to the notice of the employee, whichever is the later, unless the employer consents to the personal grievance being raised after the expiration of that period.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a grievance is raised with an employer 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.
(3) Where the employer does not consent to the personal grievance being raised after the expiration of the 90 day period, the employee may apply to the Authority for leave to raise the personal grievance after the expiration of that period.
(4) On an application under subsection (3), the Authority, after giving the employer an opportunity to be heard, may grant leave accordingly, subject to such conditions (if any) as it thinks fit, if the Authority –
(a) is satisfied that the delay in raising the personal grievance was occasioned by exceptional circumstances (which may include any 1 or more of the circumstances set out in section 115); and
(b) considers it just to do so.
(5) In any case where the Authority grants leave under subsection (4), the Authority must direct the employer and employee to use mediation to seek to mutually resolve the grievance.
(6) No action may be commenced in the Authority or the court in relation to a personal grievance more than 3 years after the date on which the personal grievance was raised in accordance with this section.
Personal grievance template
You can download a template letter raising a personal grievance here.
Employment relationship problem template
You can download a template letter raising an employment relationship problem here.