Early Resolution

Early Resolution is a free phone-based service that helps resolve a workplace issue early, quickly and informally.

What is Early Resolution

The Early Resolution Service within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is a free phone-based service for employees and employers providing assistance to resolve a workplace issue early, quickly, and informally, before it becomes too serious or needs a more formal process.

Report an employment issue form (external link)

The service can also assist with current COVID-19 workplace issues.

Early Resolution assistance might involve: 

  • speaking with you and the other party to understand what has happened and what is important for each of you
  • making sure everyone is fully informed with relevant information
  • arranging a discussion to see if a resolution could be reached
  • helping to negotiate an agreed outcome
  • referring you to a more appropriate agency if that would help. 

What is suitable for Early Resolution

  • Your working arrangements, hours, pay or leave have changed without you being consulted.
  • You have health and safety concerns.
  • Your employment has ended or may be ending through restructuring, redundancy or dismissal.
  • You feel you have been treated unfairly or are being bullied.
  • You have concerns about your employee’s performance.
  • You feel an issue could be resolved promptly by you and your employee or employer with a little help from an independent resolution facilitator.

Not suitable for Early Resolution

  • The same issue has already been dealt with or is currently being dealt with by a mediator or labour inspector.
  • You are reporting migrant exploitation – use the migrant exploitation reporting form.
  • You have made a personal grievance or gone through mediation.
  • Your case has been through the Employment Relations Authority or Employment Court.
  • You are reporting a wage subsidy issue.

You can still contact us with these types of issues through our other channels:

Contact us

Where to start

If you have an issue that our Early Resolution services can help you with, like those mentioned above, complete our online form to tell us about it. The more details you can give us, the better. Please include what you have done so far to try to resolve the issue. This will help us choose the right team to help you and avoid any delays. Employment New Zealand will be in touch with you as soon as possible.


  • The information you provide will be used by Employment New Zealand to assist you with resolving your issue. This could include referring it to the Labour Inspectorate for potential breaches of minimum employment standards. We will not share your information outside Employment New Zealand unless permitted by law.
  • The information you provide will be treated as confidential, and in accordance with our statutory obligations including the Official Information Act and the Privacy Act. We would usually consult with you before releasing any of your information under these Acts. For further information, read our Privacy Policy.


Button link that goes to the Early Resolution form (external link)


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Page last revised: 14 June 2022

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