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.
A positive recruitment experience gets the working relationship off to the best start. It is important to follow a number of steps and adopt a best practice approach.
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.
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.
Employers must provide a contract of employment which sets out the terms and conditions of employment.
Most workers - whether part-time or full-time - are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks' paid annual leave. Employers can set the times of the year that leave needs to be taken and workers must give the employer notice when they want to take leave.
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. The Agency is a public body with statutory responsibilities so there is no charge for our services.
When employment contracts end through resignation, retirement, dismissal or redundancy, there are rights and responsibilities for both the employer and employee.
There is lots to think about when starting a new job, or when hiring new staff. It is important that there are good processes in place so that everyone meets their responsibilities and everyone’s rights are protected.