21 September 2020
We understand that MBIE are establishing an early resolution team to address the unprecedented demand following the onset of Covid-19 for both mediation and also matters taken to the Employment Relations Authority.
Paul McKay of BusinessNZ tells the OSEA that planning is in the early stages and the purpose of the team is to provide a relatively costless outcome and focus on counselling rather than settlement. Mr McKay indicated that while Covid-19 is a catalyst, MBIE envisage the team as becoming a long-term option.
The intention is the new team will facilitate face to face meetings between employers and employees as opposed to remote mediations which have become more common recently.
On 7 September Harry Lock of RNZ reported fears the employment dispute system couldn’t handle the pressure placed on it following Covid-19. Mr Lock’s audio report can be found here.
David Browne | Senior Solicitor/Legal Team Manager
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