Social dialogue & conflict resolution mechanisms


Social Dialogue and Conflict Resolution Mechanisms: conciliation, mediation, arbitration in Estonia, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovenia - Workshop

Prague, 29-31 October 2003

Speech abstract - Kieran Mulvey
Chief Executive,
Labour Relations Commission, Ireland

THE IRISH MODEL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION

The presentation gives an overview of the legislation related to dispute resolution in the republic of Ireland and of the conciliation process itself from 1991 to 2002.

The Labour Relations Commission was established in Ireland in 1991 under the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 to promote good industrial relations and provide Conciliation and Advisory services. It prepares and offers guidance on codes of practice, conducts or commissions research on industrial relations, reviews and monitors industrial relations developments. The Commission provides a Rights Commissioner Service, Equality Service and assists Joint Labour Committees (JLC)s and Joint Industrial Councils (JIC)s in the exercise of their functions.

Rights Commissioners investigate and make recommendations on disputes concerning employment rights referred by individuals or small groups. They are independent of the Commission in performing their function.

The Commission is responsible for the Conciliation Service formerly provided for by the Labour Court. The relocation of the service was designed to give a new impetus to the role of conciliation and to encourage the parties to take more responsibility for resolving disputes. A neutral, free, fast and fair Conciliation Service is provided to all eligible disputant parties in order to assist them towards an agreed and amicable solution to their dispute.

Conciliation in Ireland is a voluntary process, an extension of local bargaining with independent facilitator where parties take ownership of both problems and solution. Settlement rate in 2001 was quite high: 82,5% of 1900 disputes. Disputes not settled can be referred to the Labour Court but acceptance of Labour Court recommendations is voluntary.

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