File other applications

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In addition to challenges which are commonly dealt with by the Employment Court, the Court also deals with other applications.  These cases come either directly or after the parties have been to the Employment Relations Authority (proceedings removed) or to the Court (rehearing).

Proceedings removed from the Employment Relations Authority

The Authority may remove the matter, or any part of it, directly to the Court. It may do so on its own motion or on the application of a party.1

Such an order may be made if:

  • an important question of law has arisen, or
  • the case is of such a nature or urgency that it is in the public interest that it be removed, or
  • the Court already has before it proceedings which are between the same parties and which involve the same or similar or related issues.

If your matter is removed the Court will hear and determine the matter without the Authority investigating it.

The registry staff will advise you if the matter is removed and ask you to file a statement of claim and defence within a period of time set by the court.

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Referral of questions of law to the Employment Court

If a question of law arises during an investigation the Authority may refer that question to the Court for its opinion and delay the investigation until it receives the Court’s opinion on the question.2.

The registry staff will tell you if a question is referred and tell you which documents you need to file.

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Application for special leave to remove the matter from the Employment Relations Authority

File an application for special leave to remove the matter to the Court if the Authority declined your application for removal of some or all of the matter.3

You will need to establish that either:

  • an important question of law has arisen, or
  • the case is of such a nature or urgency that it is in the public interest that it be removed, or
  • the Court already has before it proceedings which are between the same parties and which involve the same or similar or related issues.

Your application must state the grounds you are relying on. An affidavit in support to verify the grounds for your application is optional, but may be desirable. The other party will have an opportunity to respond to your application.

Time limit

There is no prescribed time to file this application. However, you should file it as soon as you have received a determination from the Authority declining removal. 

The Authority is not required to stay the matter before it until your application is determined by the Court.

Filing fee

The filing fee must be paid before or at the time of filing the application.

Documents

You should file:

  • Form 3: application for special leave
  • a copy of the determination declining removal
  • an affidavit in support

Find Form 3 application for special leave, template for an affidavit in support and the fee information on our forms and fees page.

Find out more about completing, filing and serving documents and professional help.

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Application for judicial review

File a judicial review application if you want to ask a judge to review the actions or decisions of an official or organisation to determine whether they acted lawfully.4

Judicial review proceedings are very technical and you are advised to seek legal advice before and during such a proceeding. 

If you bring a judicial review proceeding you are called the applicant, and the person or body whose actions are being reviewed is called the respondent

If you have the right to appeal or challenge a decision, you need to have already done this before you filed an application for judicial review.

Time limit

No time limit is prescribed for this application by the Employment Court Regulations but it may be prescribed by some other Act or Rules.  It is desirable to apply promptly as relief is discretionary and delay in applying may affect the outcome.

Filing fee

The filing fee must be paid before or at the time of filing the application.

Documents

You need to file original and two copies of the application in the form 2 – statement of claim.

Find Form 2 and the fee information our forms and fees page.

Find out more about completing, filing and serving documents and professional help.

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Application for compliance order

Compliance orders may be issued by both the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court.5.

The Authority may issue a compliance order in various situations prescribed by section 137 of the Employment Relations Act 2000; for example, where a person has not complied with an order made by the Authority.

The Employment Court may also issue a compliance order in various situations; the most common of these is where a party has not complied with a compliance order made by the authority or the court.

Time limit

If you wish to apply for a compliance order to enforce an order made by the Employment Relations Authority or an order of the Court, you should apply as soon as practicable after an order has been made.

Filing fee

The filing fee must be paid before or at the time of filing the application

Documents

You need to file original and two copies of the application in the form 2 – statement of claim.

Find Form 2 and the fee information on our forms and fees page.

Find out more about completing, filing and serving documents and professional help.

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Application for freezing and search orders

Search and/or freezing orders applications are usually brought by applicants in the absence of and without representation or notification of other parties; these applications are also referred as a 'without notice' applications. They used to be called 'ex parte' applications.

A search order is a court order that provides the right to search premises and seize evidence without prior warning. This prevents destruction of relevant evidence.

A freezing order is a court order which prevents a party to an action from dissipating their assets from beyond the jurisdiction of a court so as to frustrate a potential or actual judgment.

These are technical legal procedures and you may wish to obtain legal advice and representation before seeking or defending applications for such orders.6

Find out more about getting professional help.

Time limit

No time limit is prescribed for this application by the Employment Court Regulations, but time limits might be prescribed by some other Act or Rules.

Filing fee

The filing fee must be paid before or at the time of filing the application.

Documents

You need to file the documents described in the court's practice direction Freezing and Search orders.

For further information see our pages:

Practice directions, legislation and rules.

Employment Court Forms and Fees.

Completing, filing and serving documents and Professional help.

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Declaration that applicant is an employee

An application for an order declaring that you are an employee under the Employment Relations Act 20007 may be filed by you, or if you consent in writing, it may be filed on your behalf by another person.

Time limit

No time limit is prescribed for this application by the Employment Court Regulations, but time limits might be prescribed by some other Act or Rules.

Filing fee

The filing fee must be paid before or at the time of filing the application.

Documents

You need to file original and two copies of the application in the form 2 – statement of claim.

Find Form 2 and the fee information on our forms and fees page.

Find out more about completing, filing and serving documents and professional help.

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Application for injunction related to strike, lockout or picketing

The Employment Court 8 has full and exclusive jurisdiction over applications for an injunctions to:

  • stop a strike or lockout that is occurring, or prevent a threatened strike or lockout
  • stop any picketing related to a strike or lockout, or prevent any threatened picketing related to a strike or lockout
  • stop a specified pay deduction that is being, or is to be, made.

An application for injunction, in the form of a statement of claim, is usually accompanied with an application for interim injunction, an undertaking as to damages, an affidavit in support and an application for urgency. If urgency is sought a hearing might be convened after hours, during weekends or on public holidays.

These are technical legal procedures and you may wish to get legal advice and representation before seeking or defending an application for an injunction.

Filing fee

The filing fee must be paid before or at the time of filing the statement of claim.

Documents

You need to file:

  • Form 2: statement of claim – other proceedings, and
  • other documents as described above.

Find Form 2 and the fee information on our forms and fees page.

Find out more about completing, filing and serving documents and professional help.

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Footnotes

  1. s 178 Employment Relations Act 2000 (external link)
  2. s 177 Employment Relations Act 2000 (external link)
  3. s 178 Employment Relations Act 2000 (external link)
  4. s 184  (external link) and s 194 Employment Relations Act 2000 (external link)
  5. s 137-140 Employment Relations Act 2000 (external link)
  6. s 190 Employment Relations Act 2000 (external link) , Practice note: freezing and search orders
  7. s 6 Employment Relations Act 2000 (external link) also includes an employee or worker as defined within any of the Acts specified in s223 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (external link)
  8. s 100 Employment Relations Act 2000 (external link)

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