Procedure in the Employment Court is governed by the Employment Court Regulations 2000, in some situations by the High Court Rules 2016 and the District Court Act 2016, and by the practice directions issued from time to time by the Court.

Practice directions

Employment Court Practice Directions [PDF, 492 KB]

The practice directions contain directions on: applications and communications, provisions of authorities, front sheets, amended pleadings, amended challenges incorporating costs determinations, applications for rehearing, applications for leave to file documents out of time, electronic filing, final submissions at hearing, search and freezing orders, statements of defence to amended statements of claim, full courts, presence of others at telephone or video conference hearings, sealed judgments for appeals, prosecutions for offences under the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the costs guideline scale.

The Practice directions of the Employment Court have recently been reformatted; the Practice Direction relating to amended challenges incorporating costs determinations has been amended; and a Practice Direction relating to sealed orders has been introduced.

Revocation of Practice Direction

As from 1 May 2014 the Court's 2005 Practice Direction affecting cross-challenges was revoked. This means that if a defendant wishes to cross-challenge an Employment Relations Authority determination after the expiry of the 28 day period for doing so under s 179(2) of the Employment Relations Act 2000, an application to extend the time for filing the challenge is required. If you are in any doubt about the effect of this change, you should seek legal advice about it. Lawyers and lay advocates were advised of this change through their professional associations.

If you want to see the previous practice directions ask the registrar by telephone or email.  Find the contact details on our page Contact and find us.

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Legislation and rules

The following pieces of legislation may also be useful.


Health and safety

Pay and wages


Human rights


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