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Industrial Tribunals are independent judicial bodies in Northern Ireland that hear and determine claims to do with employment matters. These include a range of claims relating to unfair dismissal, breach of contract, wages and other payments as well as discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, age, part time working and equal pay.
Fair Employment Tribunal
The Fair Employment Tribunal is an independent judicial body in Northern Ireland that hears and determines complaints of discrimination on the grounds of religious belief or political opinion.
Early Conciliation is coming to Northern Ireland from 27th January 2020
From 27 January 2020, most people who wish to lodge a claim with the Industrial or Fair Employment Tribunal will first have to notify the Labour Relations Agency (LRA) and discuss the option of Early Conciliation. Potential claimants will not be able to proceed to tribunal without at least considering this option.
Where potential claimants either decide not to avail of Early Conciliation or if the process does not achieve a settlement, an Early Conciliation Certificate will be issued by the LRA. Claimants going on to present a claim to the tribunals must be able to provide the certificate number in order for their claim to proceed.
Tribunal claims usually have to be presented within three or six months of the alleged incident or behaviour, depending on the type of claim. Early Conciliation allows time (up to a calendar month, with an additional two weeks if needed) for a settlement to be discussed without affecting the deadline for a Tribunal claim. However, it is still important that potential claimants don’t delay in making the initial Early Conciliation notification to the LRA, otherwise they may find that a future claim cannot be accepted.
For more information about Early Conciliation, and exemptions that apply to it, contact the LRA’s Workplace Information Service on 03300 555 300 or go to the LRA website.