We offer conciliation services 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 legislation means that anyone wishing to lodge a claim with the Industrial or Fair Employment tribunal will need to contact the Labour Relations Agency 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.
An independent mediator can sometimes help resolve grievance or disciplinary issues. There is no charge for using the Labour Relations Agency's mediation service.
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.
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.
The number and extent of individual employment rights have increased dramatically. This has led to a greater number of claims being lodged with the Industrial Tribunal where workers and employees allege that their employment rights have been breached. It makes good business sense to resolve disputes in the workplace at the earliest opportunity.
To make a claim to an industrial tribunal for unfair dismissal, in most circumstances employees will need to have worked continuously for the organisation for one year. There are other types of claim, for example regarding unpaid wages, holiday entitlements or discrimination, which do not require one year's continuous service.
When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable.
Employees, workers and contractors have different rights and responsibilities.
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.
Employees can be dismissed for reasons such as gross misconduct or a fundamental breach of contract. A fair and robust process should be followed where all parties have certain rights and responsibilities.