See also ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’, ‘Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT)’, ‘Equality Tribunal’, ‘Labour Relations Commission (LRC)’ and ‘Labour Court’ – Employers should be aware that one issue with an employee could lead to a variety of employment claims being taken by that employee. It follows, therefore, that the employer may be required to attend a variety of employment forums as a result, depending on the number and type of claims lodged by the employee. For example, the summary dismissal without notice of a pregnant employee could lead to an unfair dismissal claim in the LRC or EAT, a claim for notice pay at the EAT a claim of discrimination at the Equality Tribunal. This is because different employment forums have jurisdiction over certain pieces of legislation.
It has been recognised that the system referenced above is in need of reform and the Government has sought to reform the jurisdiction of employment bodies through a system of amalgamation and abolition. As such, the existing bodies will be merged into just two separate bodies. It is envisaged that this will occur in 2013 and when it does all employment claims will be taken to the one single entry point which will then hear all claims at first instance. All appeals from that first instance body will then pass to a second appellate body. This much more streamlined system will also place a heavier emphasis on Alternative Dispute Resolution to seek a more timely and cost-effective means of resolving disputes while at the same time seeking to better maintain the working relationship.