(i) Direct Referral – industrial relations dispute
where, in an industrial relations dispute the case is being referred directly to the Court by one or both parties and they agree, in advance, to accept the Labour Court's Recommendation, or
where the recommendation of a Rights Commissioner (in an industrial relations case) or the decision of the Director of the Equality Tribunal (in an equality case), or the decision of a Rights Commissioner (in a working time case, a national minimum wage case, a part-time work case, a fixed-term work case or a safety, health and welfare at work case) is being appealed to the Labour Court.
For further details of the different ways of referring a case to the Court click here.
In the first case (i.e. direct referral, advance acceptance of Recommendation) the complainant party must write to the Labour Court requesting a hearing. The complainant may do so on a form (Click here to download form) or by letter. If by letter to the Court, it should:-
- give the name and address of the parties (i.e. employer and worker(s));
- provide a brief summary of the dispute; and
- state that the complainant agrees to be bound by the Recommendation which the Labour Court will issue after the hearing.
In the second case (appeal of a recommendation or decision of a Rights Commissioner’s or a decision or recommendation of the Director of the Equality Tribunal) , the appeal should be made on the appropriate form (Click here to download form); or by letter. If by letter to the Court, it should:-
- quote the reference number of the Rights Commissioner’s/Director of the Equality Tribunal recommendation, or decision; and
- enclose a copy of the Rights Commissioner’s/Director of the Equality Tribunal recommendation, or decision; and
- briefly state the grounds for the appeal.
Note: an appeal of a recommendation or decision of a Rights Commissioner’s or a decision or recommendation of the Director of the Equality Tribunal must be received by the Labour Court within 6 weeks of the date of the recommendation or decision.
Both parties to a dispute must prepare a written submission of their positions in relation to the dispute before the hearing. These submissions will form the basis of the Court’s investigation of the dispute at the hearing so it is important that they be clear and comprehensive, yet concise. For examples of submissions, click here.
In industrial relations cases, 6 copies of the written submissions must be delivered to the Labour Court, by post or by hand (i.e. not by fax) at least 5 working days before the date of the hearing.
In working time, national minimum wage, part-time work, fixed-term work and safety, health and welfare at work cases, 6 copies of the written submissions must be delivered to the Labour Court, by post or by hand (i.e. not by fax) at least 7 working days before the date of the hearing.
In equality cases, different procedures apply. Parties are advised of the requirements by the Court on receipt of a referral.
Parties are advised that recommendations of the Labour Court are published on its website.
Guidelines to preparing submissions
The submission should be addressed to the Chairman and Members of the Labour Court.
A brief description of the issue in dispute together with relevant information on the background to the dispute, the nature of the business (including, where appropriate, its trading/financial position), the history of the worker(s) should be set out at the beginning of the submission.
Summary of dispute:
The submission should then give a summary of:-
The submission should conclude by stating the opinion of the party as to how the dispute should be resolved.
Copies of any back-up documentation referred to in the submission, or on which the submission could rely, should be attached to the submission as an Appendix.
For examples of submissions, click here.