The Labour Relations Commission and the Labour Court

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Compare and Contrast;

The Labour Relations Commission And The Labour Court

The Labour relations committee and the Labour court both have specific underlying functions; yet as two separate organisations they do perform similar roles. The main differences between them lying in varying jurisdictions and formalities.

My findings on both are as follows;

Labour Relations Commission;

Mission Statement – “To promote the development and improvement of Irish industrial relations policies, practices and procedures through the provision of appropriate, timely and effective services to employers, trade unions and employees”

The labour relations commission was established in 1990 under the industrial relations act, and was operational in 1991. It’s general responsibility being the promotion of good industrial relations brought about through a large range of services they provide which are designed to promote best practise, and to help prevent and resolve disputes. There are at present eight rights commissioners appointed by the Minister for Enterprise, trade and employment. The Labour relations commission works in different ways to aid the improvement of industrial relations. Some of these are as follows. By reviewing and monitoring developments and trends within the industrial relations area, and by then issuing findings to all interested parties, thus keeping employers, trade unions and employees aware of all relevant change. In addition, by preparing voluntary codes of practise, to enable parties to put in place best practices and policies, by undertaking intermittent surveys of customer satisfaction they remain aware of how to improve the services that they are providing.

The Labour relations commission has three main services areas these are;

‘The Conciliation Service Division’, whose core endeavours are in dispute resolution – this can be either by direct involvement in negotiations, or via an overseeing role in change management process such as a phased introduction of new work practices.

‘The Advisory Services Division’, assists in non-dispute situations in order to build and maintain good working relationships. Helping to devise and develop effective problem solving solutions. Thus enabling companies to revise practices, and implement the necessary changes within the work place. whilst continually managing employee expectations and concerns, in a positive and proactive manner. Its basis is that of cooperation and mutual benefit.

‘The Rights Commissioners Services Division’, whose role it is to investigate and recommend on disputes and grievances which are referred to it by individuals and small groups of workers under the relevant legislation – it is important to note that the Rights commissioners are independent of the Labour rights commission in exercising their tasks.

There is also a ‘Work place Mediation Service’ – “Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process that allows two or more disputing parties to resolve their conflict in a mutually agreeable way with the help of a neutral third party, a mediator”

Labour Court;

Mission Statement – “To find a basis for real and substantial agreement through the provision of fair, fast, informal and inexpensive arrangements for the adjudication and resolution of trade disputes”

The Labour court was established in 1946, its main purpose was to adjudicate in industrial disputes and to provide a conciliation service, Presently it provides a free and comprehensive service for the resolution of disputes. It also deals with issues such as equality, working hours, minimum wage, fixed and part time legislation amongst other issues. It should be noted that the Labour court is not a court of law – it operates as a tribunal, where both sides of a dispute are equally heard, where thereafter the court will issue a recommendation to the parties. This recommendation is not legally binding but it is strongly urged that it be adhered to. However when...
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