Authority Officer – Employment Relations Authority

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Tēnei tūranga – About the role

The Employment Relations Authority helps to resolve employment relationship problems. It does this by investigating and making decisions based on the merits of the case, not on technicalities. It is a Tribunal set up under the Employment Relations Act.

The Chief and Members are appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety.  There are offices in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

  • The Chief Executive designates employees of MBIE to act as Officers of the Authority as may be required. The Authority Officers are designated to provide the Authority with such services and resources as may be necessary to enable it to effectively perform its functions and exercise its jurisdiction.

Ngā herenga – Requirements of the role

Personal specifications

  • Effectively communicate complex ideas and legislative process both orally and in writing.
  • Providing quality and consistent advice, services, and practices across the Authority
  • Proofread and undertake a sense check of final determinations of the Authority, possess good judgement and be able to exercise discretion to prioritise urgent matters to meet deadlines under pressure.
  • Draft minutes and directions of the Authority for parties to follow, ensure parties are following the directions given by the Authority Member.
  • Able to work within a team environment.
  • Technical knowledge - Maintain relevant employment law knowledge to provide procedural advice to parties and to advise Authority Members as to the nature of each claim.
  • Utilising advanced negotiation skills to manage upset, angry and emotional clients.
  • Time management skills, being able to prioritize work, identify the difference between urgent and important tasks, and possessing excellent communication and organisational skills.
  • Professionalism, showing competence, knowledge, conscientiousness, integrity, respect, emotional intelligence, and confidence in dealing with clients of The Authority.
  • Takes responsibility for own behaviour and is open to development.
  • Manages own personal health and safety, and takes appropriate action to deal with workplace hazards, accidents, and incidents.
  • Ability to interpret and apply legislation and/or legal documents.
  • Conceptual and analytical skills needed to critically assess issues for the purpose of case management and administration.
  • A knowledge of computers, Microsoft products and understanding of databases.
  • Ability to quickly assimilate new information or areas of work and come to an understanding of unfamiliar and complex issues.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in collaborative and inclusive ways with others, and a commitment to working and contributing as part of a team.
  • Sound judgement and the ability to assess and make decisions to progress files through the Authority.

Takohanga tuhinga o mua – Key accountabilities and deliverables

  • Receive, record and review applications and statements in reply to ensuring all relevant information is correct, all documentation is attached, and proper legal entities are named.
  • Perform the Authority Officer statutory delegation to first consider whether an attempt has been made to resolve the matter using mediation. If not, then the Authority Officer has the delegation to refer the parties to mediation before the Authority will investigate the matter.
  • Ensure legal documentation is correctly served on respondents and determining correct method of service so the application can proceed in the Authority.
  • Liaise with parties to an application, establish facts, clarify problems, identify issues, and assess how the application is best handled.
  • Act autonomously and fairly in situations of conflict pertaining to an application to identify issues and provide information about risks and benefits.
  • Creating records and managing information and documentation in a manner consistent with MBIEs systems and information management requirement – both electronically and paper. Recognising and managing risks associated with the management of personal information in accordance with MBIEs policies and processes.
  • Schedule and attend case management conferences (CMC) with the Authority Member and the parties. Taking minutes ensuring the CMC is captured correctly for the Authority member.
  • Fix disbursements and witnesses’ expenses.
  • Allocate fixtures using workforce planning and scheduling techniques, issue notices of investigation meetings and directions and service Authority hearings as required.
  • Respond to enquiries from applicants and their representatives or the public about Authority procedures and progress of applications.
  • Provide administrative and IT support including word processing, travel, security, interpreters, and other arrangements as required.
  • Liaise with other government departments as necessary.

Statutory powers and responsibilities of the Authority Officer under the Employment Relations Act 2000

Authority Officers perform several statutory functions and powers under the Employment Relations Act 2000 (the Act) and Regulations promulgated under that legislation.

  • This is exampled by functions and powers to:
    • Direct parties to mediation.
    • Direct service, including the method of service, of documents lodged in the Authority.
    • Issue a witness summons requiring the attendance of a person before the Authority.
    • Fix disbursements and witnesses’ expenses.
    • Issue certificates of determination to enable a determination of the Authority to be enforced in the District Court.

As a statutory officer under the Act, Authority Officers are subject to judicial review for the decisions they make in respect of the above matters in the Employment Court (subsequently on appeal, by leave, to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court):

  • Key contact for assisting and supporting parties and representatives through the Authority process, ensuring all relevant information is in on time keeping to the Authority Member’s timetable. Explaining legislative requirements to parties using expert knowledge, credibility, and engagement skills.
  • Participates as an active team member and contributes knowledge and expertise needed to achieve MBIE’s and the Authority’s outcomes.
  • Builds and maintains effective relationships and partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, as necessary to identify and share best practice information and to promote the Ministry, its products, and services.
  • Represents whole-of-Ministry views and protects its reputation in any external interactions.
  • Effective across culturally diverse settings by ensuring cultural needs are considered when planning for and conducting interactions with external parties of different cultures.
  • Willingly shares knowledge, expertise and within the team and with others in the organisation.
  • Acts with honesty and integrity.
  • Welcomes feedback and is receptive to input from others.
  • Responsibilities of this position are expected to change over time as the Ministry responds to changing needs. The incumbent will need the flexibility to adapt and develop as the environment evolves.

Wellbeing, health & safety

  • Displays commitment through actively supporting all safety and wellbeing initiatives.
  • Ensures own and others safety at all times.
  • Complies with relevant safety and wellbeing policies, procedures, safe systems of work and event reporting.
  • Reports all incidents/accidents, including near misses in a timely fashion.
  • Is involved in health and safety through participation and consultation.

Tō tūranga i roto i te Manatū – Your place in the Ministry

The Authority Officer position reports to the ERA Support Manager, Business Advisory Services, Employment Services Branch in the Te Whakatairanga Service Delivery group.

More information about MBIE’s structure(external link)

To mātou aronga – What we do for Aotearoa New Zealand

Hīkina Whakatutuki is the te reo Māori name for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Hīkina means to uplift. Whakatutuki means to move forward, to make successful. Our name speaks to our purpose, Grow Aotearoa New Zealand for All.

To Grow Aotearoa New Zealand for All, we put people at the heart of our mahi. Based on the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi, we are committed to upholding authentic partnerships with Māori.

As agile public service leaders, we use our breadth and experience to navigate the ever-changing world. We are service providers, policy makers, investors and regulators. We engage with diverse communities, businesses and regions. Our work touches on the daily lives of New Zealanders. We grow opportunities (Puāwai), guard and protect (Kaihāpai) and innovate and navigate towards a better future (Auaha).

Ngā matatau – Our competencies

Cultivates innovation We create new and better ways for the organisation to be successful by challenging the status quo generating new and creative ideas and translating them into workable solutions.

Nimble learning We are curious and actively learn through experimentation when tackling new problems by learning as we go when facing new situations and challenges.

Customer focus We build strong customer relationships and deliver customer-centric solutions by listening and gaining insights into the needs of the communities we serve and actively seeking and responding to feedback.

Decision quality We make quality and timely decisions that shape the future for our communities and keep the organisation moving forward by relying on an appropriate mix of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgement to make valid and reliable decisions.

Action oriented We step up, taking on new opportunities and tough challenges with purpose, urgency and discipline by taking responsibility, ownership and action on challenges, and being accountable for the results.

Collaborates We connect, working together to build partnerships with our communities, working collaboratively to meet shared objectives by gaining trust and support of others; actively seeking the views, experiences, and opinions of others and by working co-operatively with others across MBIE, the public sector and external stakeholder groups.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

As an agency of the public service, MBIE has a responsibility to contribute to the Crown meeting its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Te Tiriti). Meeting our commitment to Te Tiriti will contribute towards us realising the overall aims of Te Ara Amiorangi – Our Path, Our Direction, and achieve the outcome of Growing New Zealand for All. The principles of Te Tiriti - including partnership, good faith, and active protection – are at the core of our work. MBIE is committed to delivering on our obligations as a Treaty partner with authenticity and integrity and to enable Māori interests. We are committed to ensuring that MBIE is well placed to meet our obligations under the Public Service Act 2020 (Te Ao Tūmatanui) to support the Crown in strengthening the Māori/Crown Relationship under the Treaty and to build MBIE’s capability, capacity and cultural intelligence to deliver this.

Mahi i roto i te Ratonga Tūmatanui – Working in the public service

Ka mahitahi mātou o te ratonga tūmatanui kia hei painga mō ngā tāngata o Aotearoa i āianei, ā, hei ngā rā ki tua hoki. He kawenga tino whaitake tā mātou hei tautoko i te Karauna i runga i āna hononga ki a ngāi Māori i raro i te Tiriti o Waitangi. Ka tautoko mātou i te kāwanatanga manapori. Ka whakakotahingia mātou e te wairua whakarato ki ō mātou hapori, ā, e arahina ana mātou e ngā mātāpono me ngā tikanga matua o te ratonga tūmatanui i roto i ā mātou mahi.

In the public service we work collectively to make a meaningful difference for New Zealanders now and in the future. We have an important role in supporting the Crown in its relationships with Māori under the Treaty of Waitangi. We support democratic government. We are unified by a spirit of service to our communities and guided by the core principles and values of the public service in our work.

What does it mean to work in Aotearoa New Zealand’s Public Service?(external link) — Te Kawa Mataaho The Public Service Commission

MBIE value: Māia - Bold & brave, Pae Kahurangi - Build our future, Mahi Tahi - Better together, Pono Me Te Tika - Own it