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  • workplace-relationsThe Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has published revised procedures for the Investigation of Employment and Equality Complaints under the new Workplace Relations Act. It is advised by the Workplace Relations website that it is important that all parties to complaints and disputes should read and follow these revised procedures.
    These can be viewed on the WRC website on the Guide titled “Procedures in the Investigation and Adjudication of Employment and Equality Complaints”.

    What is referenced
    There are references to the WRC throughout, standard time limit of six months for submission of complaints to the WRC, reference to Adjudication Officers etc.



    But what has not been clarified
    What has not been clarified is exactly what documents / Booklets the parties will be obliged to produce in advance of and in preparation for the Hearing. All that is stated in the Guide is that:
    “It is the responsibility of the parties and their representatives to ensure that all relevant information has been sent to the WRC prior to the hearing and all witnesses are available on the day of the hearing.”


    Will one Party be prejudiced?

    Gavel on termination of employment document

    The writer wonders whether it will be necessary to deliver written Submissions in advance of the Hearing. This has been a requirement of the Rights Commissioners up to now; although not a requirement of the former Employment Appeals Tribunal. Since it would appear that the new Adjudicator system is largely based on the former Rights Commissioner system, will the Adjudicator now insist on written Submissions in advance of the Hearing? This often involves a requirement to quote existing Caselaw and precedent. If so, this will definitely cause an undue burden for the Applicant Employee who generally does not have the same resources as the Employer; although there are employers also who turn up at the Hearing without representation and can be similarly prejudiced.

    Perhaps this could be clarified by the Workplace Relations Commission?