Legislation has just been passed by the Assembly to implement a new Labour Relations Agency Arbitration Scheme. The new Scheme extends the option of arbitration as an alternative to employment tribunals to resolve claims under most jurisdictions, including breach of contract, redundancy and other payments, and discrimination, as well as the previous grounds of unfair dismissal and flexible working. Under the Scheme an arbitrator’s decision is binding as a matter of law and has the same effect as a tribunal. The legislation will be published in due course and the new Scheme will be launched and come into effect on 27 September 2012. In the meantime, you can read the Labour Relations Agency Arbitration Scheme Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/2012/301/contents/made(opens new window) and the associated Jurisdiction Order can be accessed at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/2012/302/contents/made(opens new window)

Further information and guidance on using the new Scheme will be available when it is launched.