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What is the Employment Relations Authority (ERA)?

#yourquestionsanswered Who makes decisions about employment disputes?

Employee experiencing workplace stress

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) helps provide resolution to employment relationship problems. It is the last step for most employment disputes, but most cases settle long before then.

What happens in the ERA?

Once an employment relationship problem reaches the ERA, it’s serious and generally no longer confidential. Prior to the investigative meeting (which is like a hearing), considerable preparation is required along with witness statements and a number of supporting documents. In the investigative meeting, facts will be gathered and then a determination (or decision) will be made. This normally takes several weeks.

Who makes the decision?

The process is run by a person called a Member. The Members are independent and are experts in employment law. They will sort through the evidence provided and ask questions of witnesses. Witnesses will be cross-examined. The Member will also take into account relevant law, and will give an opportunity for legal arguments to be made.

Does it cost to attend the ERA?

There are fees and costs associated with going to the ERA. Application fees of around $72 are required to initiate proceedings. In most situations, the unsuccessful party may have to make a contribution to the successful party’s legal fees. This generally starts at $4,500 per day of the investigative meeting.

Can you do it yourself?

Yes, but we'd recommend that if your employment law problem has reached the ERA, that you seek representation to maximise your chances of success. Contact us, and we can provide you with an employment law advocate who can guide you through the process so it as easy and as stress free as possible. Like with most of our work, they can generally be engaged on a no win no fee basis.


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