Most organisations in New Zealand have to deal with employee disputes of some nature. The Employment Relations Act enables HR to avoid disputes and punitive damage claims. Sound legal knowledge will be required to manage employment agreements, which will result in the avoidance of dispute situations. The common types of problems are covered in specific provisions set out in Part 9A of the ERA, these are:
Recovery of Wages
However, employees are also able to seek help 'with any other problem relating to or arising out of an employment agreement'.
HR Department will often act as a buffer in many organisations and will generally manage the legal responsibility on the part of the employer in managing disputes that might arise within the organisation. As these situations can often be stressful, HR must ensure that the organisations procedures and policies are followed fairly and to try and avoid situations that lead to disputes and claims going to court. Mediation processes help in dispute resolution.
Counselling support is provided to employees in times of stress due to personal and professional environment changes. It is a HR policy that ensures that the employees are given due support to manage their work pressures in order to maintain the productivity of the organisation at all times. The cost of EAP is negligible compared to the loss of productivity in any organisation. Modern performance review processes and personal grievance procedures in any organisation increases the pressure on HR Managers to see that EAP is well managed and easily accessible.