We offer a free conciliation service to help parties involved in a workplace dispute to come to a legally binding resolution without needing to go through a tribunal. We offer both individual conciliation and collective conciliation, for example where an issue affects a number of employees.
From 27 January 2020 a change in NI employment law means that anyone wishing to lodge a claim with the Industrial or Fair Employment Tribunal will need to contact us first to discuss the option of 'Early Conciliation'. If agreement is not reached through Early Conciliation parties can still proceed to tribunal if they wish.
Employers have a duty to protect their employees and visitors from harm. They must do risk assessments and they must report any serious incidents to the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland. Employees are expected to take reasonable care of their own health and safety.
As Coronavirus in Northern Ireland continues, It is important that businesses and workers know what their rights and responsibilities are when it comes to protecting staff and themselves from the spread of the virus.
All pregnant employees are entitled to time off to keep appointments for antenatal care made on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, registered midwife or registered health visitor.
A person in a qualifying relationship with the pregnant employee is entitled to unpaid time off work to accompany the expectant mother to two antenatal appointments.
Employees, workers and contractors have different rights and responsibilities.
The Safety Representative and Safety Committees Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1979 apply to organisations that have recognised trade unions for collective bargaining purposes.
The best way to prevent relationship problems is to have policies and procedures that are fair, constructive and clear and there should be constructive communication to address issues as quickly as possible. We can help you to check if your policies and procedures are in line with best practice.
However, where relationships have been damaged by events in the workplace, the Labour Relations Agency can provide impartial and confidential mediation, conciliation or arbitration support to help resolve the situation.
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.
An independent mediator can sometimes help resolve grievance or disciplinary issues. There is no charge for using the Labour Relations Agency's mediation service.
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.