There are differences between ‘employees’, ‘workers’ and ‘contractors’. These differences in status can affect their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
Problems can arise in any workplace. Below are some examples, though not an exhaustive list. Employers, employees and their representatives may find it helpful to refer to the Labour Relations Agency's codes of practice, sample letters, flowcharts and guides. Our service is confidential and all our resources are free of charge to anyone working to prevent or resolve a workplace issue in Northern Ireland.
The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 defines a trade union as “an organisation (whether permanent or temporary) which … consists wholly or mainly of workers of one or more descriptions and is an organisation whose principal purposes include the regulation of relations between workers … and employers or employers’ associations.
When there is an issue in the workplace, employers and employees have a number of options and steps they can take to resolve it, ranging from informal conversations to formal processes and procedures.
Pregnant employees are entitled to up to one year’s maternity leave. Paternity leave is available if certain criteria are met. Parents are also entitled to 18 weeks’ unpaid leave for each child up to their 18th birthday.
Clear workplace policies and procedures help organisations to be productive, efficient and maintain high levels of staff morale. Ensuring that everyone knows how and why things are done is a key component in establishing best employment practice.