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.
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.
Employers must provide a contract of employment which sets out the terms and conditions of employment.
When employment contracts end through resignation, retirement, dismissal or redundancy, there are rights and responsibilities for both the employer and employee.
Employees and workers are entitled to various types of leave depending on their circumstances and the length of time they have been employed.
Both employers and employees have certain rights and responsibilities towards each other. Some will apply to everyone in the workplace, while others will be dependent on the individual’s working status.
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.
Due to a change in employment law, we will offer Early Conciliation from 27 January 2020. The change means that anyone wishing to lodge a claim with the industrial tribunal must first make contact with the Labour Relations Agency. We will either help to conciliate an agreement between the parties to resolve the issue, or we will provide a certificate to the prospective claimant so they can proceed to tribunal if they wish.
The Agency is a public body with statutory responsibilities so there is no charge for our services.
There are differences between ‘employees’, ‘workers’ and ‘contractors’. These differences in status can affect their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.