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Unfair treatment, discrimination or harassment at work

Hours, shifts and second jobs: Breaches of
your rights

Taking a personal grievance for breaches of rules around hours, shifts and second jobs

Employment Relations Act 2000, ss 67C-67H, s 103(1)(h), (i)

You can bring a personal grievance if your employer:

  • has disadvantaged you by breaching the rule that any verbal agreement between you about your hours must be stated in your written employment agreement
  • has disadvantaged you by breaching the rules around availability clauses and “zero-hour” contracts, or if they treated you unfairly because you exercised your right to turn down work when you didn’t have a valid availability clause in your agreement
  • has disadvantaged you by breaching the rules around cancelling shifts
  • has disadvantaged you by unreasonably preventing you from also working for other employers.

For information on your rights around work hours, see the chapter “Employment conditions and protections”, under “Hours, shifts and breaks”.

For information on your rights around working second jobs, see the chapter “Starting and leaving a job”, under “Starting work and negotiating an agreement”.

Next Section | Discrimination at work

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Resolving employment problems

Where to go for more support

Community Law

www.communitylaw. org.nz

Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice if you’re facing problems at work.

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment


The Employment Relations website of the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment has a range of information on personal grievances, mediation, the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court. This includes a pamphlet contained information on all those topics, called “Solving Problems at Work”.

Free phone 0800 20 90 20, for general enquiries about resolving employment problems.

Early Resolution Service


The Early Resolution Service is a service offered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. It is a free phone-based service to help employees and employers resolve workplace issues before it becomes too serious or needs a more formal process.

For more information on the Early Resolution Service, you can fill out the form on www.employment.govt.nz or call 0800 20 90 20.

Labour inspectors

Labour inspectors monitor and enforce minimum employment conditions. To refer a problem to a labour inspector, you contact the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment on: Free phone 0800 20 90 20

Employment Relations Authority


If you’re unable to settle at mediation, the next step is to file your claim in the Employment Relations Authority. For more information, visit the Authority’s website.

New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, Te Kauae Kaimahi


Phone: (04) 385 1334
Email: info@nzctu.org.nz

Union members should contact their union for support in resolving problems at work.

Immigration New Zealand


Free phone: 0508 558 855
Phone: (09) 914 4100 (Auckland)
Phone: (04) 910 9915 (Wellington)

The Immigration New Zealand website has extensive information about the various types of visas and other immigration issues. There is also specific information on human trafficking and the help that’s available for people trapped in these situations.

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