The statutory regulations governing Industrial tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal proceedings in Northern Ireland are The Industrial Tribunals and Fair Employment Tribunal (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020.
Industrial Tribunals are independent judicial bodies that hear and determine claims to do with employment matters. These include a range of claims relating to unfair dismissal, breach of contract, wages/other payments, as well as discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, age, part time working or equal pay. For a list of the main matters which an Industrial Tribunal can consider please refer to the jurisdictions list available below (this is not an exhaustive list).
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Jurisdiction of an Industrial Tribunal Article 85 of the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998
The jurisdiction of an industrial tribunal to hear and determine complaints is subject to Article 85 of the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998.
Where a complaint has been made to the Fair Employment Tribunal of unlawful discrimination on the grounds of religious belief or political opinion and it appears that this complaint is one in respect of which:
- a complaint could be made to an industrial tribunal under any other statutory provision; or
- a complaint has been made to an industrial tribunal which has not been disposed of;
then the President or Vice President may direct that these matters shall be heard by the Fair Employment Tribunal and not by an industrial tribunal. For these purposes the Fair Employment Tribunal has the jurisdiction and powers of an industrial tribunal. Before such a direction is made however, a notice will be sent to those concerned, giving them an opportunity to show cause why such a direction should not be made.
Industrial Tribunals sit mainly in Belfast.