The Employment Court has upheld an Employment Relations Authority decision which struck out an employee’s personal grievance claim against a non-employer controlling third party.

The law allows an employee to join a controlling third party in a claim to the ERA against an employer if the controlling third party’s actions contributed to the personal grievance against the employer.

In this case the employee raised a personal grievance against his employer and notified the controlling third party where he worked and his employer.

He settled his personal grievance claim against his employer and then sought to bring a claim in the ERA against the non-employer.  The ERA held that the claim should be struck out because the law only allows a non-employer to be joined to a claim against an employer and does not provide for an independent claim against the non-employer.

Here the employee had settled their claim against the employer, so there was no claim in the ERA to join the non-employer to and an independent claim is not provided for.

Employees and employers need to be aware that they need a live claim in the ERA if they want to join a controlling third party which has contributed to the grievance claim.  They cannot settle and then attempt to join the non-employer as there is no claim to join them to.


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Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer