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.
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), the Labour Relations Agency 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.
The Forum has produced A Practical Guide to Making Workplaces Safer which has been approved by the NI Executive and is now available to support organisations and workers across Northern Ireland to take appropriate measures to keep everyone safe.
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.
There are differences between ‘employees’, ‘workers’ and ‘contractors’. These differences in status can affect their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
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.
From 27 January 2020, following a change in NI employment law, the Labour Relations Agency is now providing a new workplace dispute resolution service. Click below for more information or to make an Early Conciliation notification.
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.
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 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.
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.