Professional help

Getting professional help and seeking advice from a lawyer or employment law advocate, union or employers’ group may be helpful because court procedure is not simple.

Getting legal advice

If you don’t know a suitable lawyer already:

Other sources of legal help

Employment advocates are employment law specialists who are not lawyers. They can help you prepare documentation, give advice and can represent you in court. You will have to pay for these services but their costs are generally less than lawyer fees. To find an employment advocate search in the Yellow Pages (external link)or visit the Employment Law Institute of New Zealand website(external link)

Pro Bono Legal Assistance Service (Auckland only)

Free help with your Employment Court case

Auckland Community Law Centre has an independent advice service for people representing themselves in the Employment Court in Auckland with unjustified dismissal or unjustified disadvantage claims.  The service is open to people who cannot afford legal support, although in some cases it can help people on higher incomes. 

If you are eligible, you will be offered a one-hour appointment with a volunteer lawyer for advice on your case.  The service doesn’t offer representation in hearings but you may be eligible for further appointments to address new issues as they arise.   There is no cost for the service.

The service has a drop-in clinic every week.  This is a chance to discuss whether the service might be able to help you, and to help you work out if you should challenge your Employment Relations Authority determination.  The Clinic is held:

  • On Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:30pm
  • At the Employment Relations Authority (Level 10, 280 Queen Street, Auckland).

You can also contact the service on:

  • (09) 377 9449

If you want help, it’s a good idea to contact the service as soon as possible and well before any deadlines you may have.  If you appear eligible for the service, you will be asked to complete an application form.

If your representation changes

If you currently don’t have a lawyer or advocate, file a notice of change representation when you engage a lawyer or advocate and serve the other party with the notice.

If your representation ceases, file and serve the other party with such a notice.

You will also need to do this if you change your address for the service of documents. 

You can find a notice of change representation on our forms and fees page.

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