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.
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 have guides, template policies and flowcharts to help.
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 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.
Both employers and employees have certain rights and responsibilities towards each other. Some will apply to everyone in the workplace, while others will be dependent on the individual’s working status.
Employees and workers are entitled to various types of leave depending on their circumstances and the length of time they have been employed.
The hours we work and the pay we receive for that work are two key factors when it comes to job satisfaction, feeling fulfilled, challenged and rewarded. It is important that record keeping systems are robust, policies and communication about breaks and benefits are clear, and that people know their rights and responsibilities.
The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 defines a trade union as “an organisation (whether permanent or temporary) which … consists wholly or mainly of workers of one or more descriptions and is an organisation whose principal purposes include the regulation of relations between workers … and employers or employers’ associations.
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.