Unfair Dismissal

Unfair dismissal occurs when an employee is let go without a valid legal justification or a proper formal procedure.

Good Reason and Fair Process are the golden rules for dismissal.

If your termination process has not been handled correctly or the grounds for your dismissal are not reasonable, you are entitled to address your concerns with your employer through a personal grievance.

Employers have the opportunity to navigate the employment process with a reasonable level of flexibility. While minor errors may not render the entire process unfair, fairness ultimately depends on the circumstances. It is important to adhere to relevant provisions outlined in the employment agreement and workplace policies and processes. In cases where clear guidance is lacking, the fairness test becomes: what actions could a fair and reasonable employer have taken given the circumstances?

Ensuring a fair process and valid reasons for dismissal is crucial, and if you believe you have been unfairly dismissed, seeking advice from an Employment lawyer or Employment Advocate can help you navigate the complexities and safeguard your rights for a fair outcome.

If your employer dismissed you without a good reason you may have a claim unfair dismissal.



unfair dismissal

Have you been fired without process? You may have a claim for compensation for unfair dismissal.

Fired, or Dismissed on the Spot?

This occurrence  gives rise to significant concerns about potential unfair dismissal and encroachment on the employee’s rights and protection under NZ employment laws.

If your boss fires or sacks you without warning, unless your misconduct is severe, you are likely to have a case. We can talk to your employer about a financial settlement or represent you at mediation.

  • Good Reason and Fair Process are the foundations of the dismissal process under New Zealand Employment Law.
  • Any relevant provisions in the employment agreement must be followed.
  • If an employment agreement does not have a notice period, then reasonable notice must be given.

Have you been unfairly dismissed?

What is unfair dismissal depends on the circumstances.

The employer should investigate any allegations of misconduct thoroughly and without prejudice. Unless there has been misconduct so serious that it warrants summary dismissal, the employee should be given clear standards to aim for and a genuine opportunity to improve.

Employees have the right to be told what the problem is and that dismissal or other disciplinary action is a possibility, and they must then be given a genuine opportunity to tell their side of the story before the employer decides what to do, they also have the right to be supported by an employment lawyer, employment advocate or other support person, and should be given enough time to organise their support and prepare for the meeting.

If an employee is dismissed, he or she has the right to ask the employer for a written statement of the reasons for dismissal. This request can be made up to 60 days after they find out about the dismissal. The employer must provide the written statement within 14 days of such a request. If the employer fails to provide this written statement, the employee may consequently be able to raise a grievance after the required 90 day limitation period.

Because we only get paid if we win your case, we need to be selective about the cases we take on.  It’s absolutely free to call us and discuss your situation.  A free and confidential discussion will usually help you decide on your next move and clarify whether or not you have a solid case.

Can an unfair dismissal be reversed?

For employees who have found to be unfairly dismissed. Reinstatement means the employee gets their previous job back. Reinstatement may be considered as an option. 
If reinstatement or other remedies could be an option for you, we can help you consider this range of possibilities.
note: Fees may apply if there is no financial compensation.

Please Note: If you were violent or very abusive in the workplace, an employer is very likely to be justified in firing you and asking you to leave immediately, and it is unlikely we will be unable to assist.

If you think you have a case for unjustifiable dismissal contact us using our contact form, giving us as much information as possible and one of our Advocates will be in touch.


Employment Advocates for unfair dismissals


Statistics prove that legal representation improves your chance of a successful outcome. Don’t hesitate, you have nothing to lose by having a free chat with one of our experts.

During Covid-19, while businesses are closed, please contact us via our webform. We will call or email you back between 9-5 weekdays.


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