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Equality Commission Northern Ireland
TEL 028 90 500 600
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Early conciliation service
Employers & service providers
Unsure of your equality rights or the law? We can provide advice and assistance for people who feel they have been discriminated against.
Early conciliation service
Labour Relations Agency
What you need to know
Early Conciliation Service - Labour Relations Agency
Early Conciliation is a free service provided by the Labour Relations Agency to help employers and employees to resolve disputes without having to go through a public tribunal hearing. The service is confidential, impartial and there is no charge.
From Monday 27 January 2020, if you are considering making a complaint of discrimination at work, you MUST register your complaint with the Labour Relations Agency before you can lodge proceedings with the Office of the Industrial Tribunal and Fair Employment Tribunal.
You will need to complete the
LRA Notification Form
. For this, you will need:
your National Insurance number
the legal name and address of your employer
contact details for the employer and anyone else, such as trade union or legal representatives, that the LRA may need.
A conciliation officer will get in touch with you, usually within five working days. They will ask you if you want to use the service and if you do, for your permission to contact your employer. You will also get an LRA certificate number which you MUST have before you can take your case to tribunal.
If you decide to try early conciliation, the normal deadline for lodging a claim with the Tribunal (usually 3 months from the date of the alleged incident or behaviour) will be put on hold for up to one calendar month to allow you to attempt conciliation with your employer.
You do not have to take up the Early Conciliation Service, but it is a legal requirement to notify the LRA using the online form and you will need the certificate number to allow you to proceed to tribunal.
Full information on the Early Conciliation option is available on the
Labour Relations Agency's website
leaflet explaining early conciliation
is also available
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