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.
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 Labour Relations Agency provides free, impartial and confidential services to employers, employer bodies, employees and workers in Northern Ireland, as well as Trade Unions, HR and legal professionals.
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.
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 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.
Employees who are trustees of an occupational pension scheme (as defined in Section 1 of the Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993) or directors of trustee companies are entitled to reasonable time off with pay to carry out any of their trustee’s duties, or to receive training relevant to those duties.
When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable.
Good company rules benefit employers and employees.