We offer free conciliation services to help parties involved in a workplace dispute to come to a legally binding resolution, without needing to go through a public tribunal. We offer both individual conciliation and collective conciliation, for example where an issue affects a number of employees.
Early Conciliation is available to employers who are dealing with a workplace dispute which could result in a claim being made to the Industrial or Fair Employment Tribunal. The employer's representative can also contact us to request Early Conciliation on the employer's behalf.
From 27 January 2020 anyone who wishes to lodge a claim with the Industrial or Fair Employment Tribunal must first notify the Labour Relations Agency and discuss the option of Early Conciliation. You will not be able to proceed to tribunal without at least considering this option.
Collective Conciliation is facilitated or assisted negotiation where an Agency conciliator helps employers and employees (normally via trade unions) to try to reach mutually acceptable settlements of their collective disputes.
If someone has lodged a claim to the tribunal about their employment rights a copy is sent to the Labour Relations Agency.
We have a legal duty to offer Conciliation in most cases when someone has a complaint about their employment rights even if no claim has been made to the Tribunal service.
You can use the Labour Relations Agency Arbitration Scheme to resolve an employment–related dispute (a “claim”) instead of going to a tribunal.
Arbitration involves an independent and impartial person called an arbitrator (acting alone or chairing a panel) being appointed by the Labour Relations Agency to make a decision on a dispute. This decision is based on the evidence presented by the parties to that dispute.
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.
Those who have submitted a tribunal claim will also be offered access to the Labour Relations Agency’s Arbitration Scheme which offers a quick, non–legalistic, less formal, confidential and more cost effective alternative to a tribunal hearing.