The change in legislation means that anyone who wishes to lodge a claim with the Industrial or Fair Employment Tribunal must first notify us at the Labour Relations Agency and discuss the option of Early Conciliation.  Most potential claimants will not be able to proceed to tribunal without at least considering this option. 

  • Employees

    Employee-led Early Conciliation

    Employees, or the employee's representative, can make an Early Conciliation notification by completing our online form.  One of our Conciliation Officers will get in touch, usually within five working days, to explain Early Conciliation and ask if there is willingness to try it. The deadline for lodging a claim with the Tribunal (usually 3 months from the date of the alleged incident or behaviour) will be put on hold for up to one calendar month to allow conciliation to be explored. 

    Conciliation usually takes place through a few phonecalls, or occasionally with a meeting.  The aim is to arrive at a resolution to the dispute that both parties can agree to, without the stress and cost of going to tribunal.  Where parties do not wish to try conciliation, or where it does not bring an agreed resolution, we will issue a certificate that the employee will need if proceeding to lodge a tribunal claim.

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  • Employers

    Employer-led Early Conciliation

    An employer or employer's representative can make an Early Conciliation notification if they are dealing with a dispute which could end in a tribunal claim.  After receiving the completed online form, one of our Conciliation Officers will be in touch.  We will also need the employer to get permission from the employee for us to make contact.  Sometimes there is more than one employee with a particular dispute.  Early Conciliation can be requested using our online form for between one and four employees.  If there are five or more employees with the same dispute, please give us a ring on 03300 552 220.

    If all parties are willing to try concilation, we will set up a meeting with the aim of agreeing a resolution without the stress and cost of a tribunal.  Where conciliation does not reach agreement we will send a letter to both parties confirming contact with the Labour Relations Agency.  The employee may then proceed to tribunal without making an Early Conciliation notification.

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Latest on Early Conciliation

EARLY CONCILIATION COMES TO NORTHERN IRELAND 27 JANUARY 2020

12 November 2019
Following a change in employment law, the Labour Relations Agency will provide a new service to employees, employers, and their representatives. 

LRA Public Meeting to Focus on Introduction of New ‘Early Conciliation’ Service

11 October 2019
New workplace dispute resolution service required by Employment Act (NI) 2016