The Labour Relations Agency provides an Early Conciliation service following a change in NI employment law which took effect on 27 January 2020. This service helps to resolve workplace disputes in a legally binding way, without the need to take a case to the Industrial or Fair Employment Tribunal. Click below for more information or to make an Early Conciliation notification.
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.
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.
Issues and problems can arise in any workplace. If not resolved they can cause lasting damage to individuals, to the business and to relationships. It is important to ensure there are fair processes in place to deal with problems and that organisations adopt a best practice approach. We run free training seminars and briefings and have guides, template policies and flowcharts to help. Where additional support is needed we offer free, impartial and confidential conciliation, mediation and arbitration services.
Some issues in the workplace cannot be resolved informally so it is important that there is a fair and clear escalation process where each side meets their responsibilities. The Labour Relations Agency can offer information, flowcharts and codes of practice to help. We also offer confidential and impartial conciliation, mediation and arbitration services to help parties resolve issues without needing to go to tribunal.
The Agency is a public body with statutory responsibilities so there is no charge for our services.
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.
The Northern Ireland Engagement Forum was established by the Department for the Economy. It is chaired by the Labour Relations Agency and comprises the Confederation of British Industry, Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses NI, Institute of Directors, Manufacturing NI, NI Retail Consortium, the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, SOLACE, the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) and the Public Health Agency. The Forum advises the NI Executive on how best to manage the challenges Covid-19 places on NI businesses and workers.