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.
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.
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.
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.
When employment contracts end through resignation, retirement, dismissal or redundancy, there are rights and responsibilities for both the employer and employee.
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.