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.
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.
Arbitration involves an independent and impartial person called an arbitrator (acting alone or chairing a panel) being appointed by the Labour Relations Agency to make a decision on a dispute. This decision is based on the evidence presented by the parties to that dispute.
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.
You can use the Labour Relations Agency Arbitration Scheme to resolve an employment–related dispute (a “claim”) instead of going to a tribunal.
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.
Mediation works by using a neutral Labour Relations Agency mediator to assist parties involved in a workplace conflict or dispute to reach a satisfactory solution to workplace disputes that both sides are able to agree to.
Collective Conciliation is facilitated or assisted negotiation where an Agency conciliator helps employers and employees (normally via trade unions) to try to reach mutually acceptable settlements of their collective disputes.
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