Appealing a decision to the Labour Court
Under the Workplace Relations Act 2015 the Labour Court is the single appeal body for all workplace relations appeals, including those previously heard by the Employment Appeals Tribunal. You may appeal to it against decisions of a Workplace Relations Commission adjudicator. The Employment Appeals Tribunal continues to hear appeals submitted before the commencement of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 on 1 October 2015.
Making an appeal
Under the Workplace Relations Act 2015 cases are first heard by an adjudicator. You may appeal the decision of the adjudicator to the Labour Court.
The time limit for making an appeal is 42 days after the date of the decision of the adjudicator. This time limit can be extended if the Labour Court is satisfied that there were exceptional circumstances causing the delay.
The Labour Court may decide to deal with the complaint or dispute by written submissions only, unless either party objects to this within 42 days of being informed.
You do not have to be represented at the Labour Court, but if you wish you may you may be accompanied and represented at the hearing by:
- A trade union official or an official of a body which represents the interests of employers
- A practising barrister or practising solicitor
- In the case of a complainant who is aged under 18 a parent or guardian (as well as one of the people already listed)
- Any other person with the permission of the Labour Court
If you do not have a representative to present your case, the Labour Court will ensure that you are not at a disadvantage as a result of this. You should make sure you have all the relevant documents, such as a P45 or a P60.
Labour Court hearings on appeals are in public unless the Labour Court decides that they should be in private (or partly in private) because of special circumstances. The Labour Court has wide powers to require witnesses to attend and to take evidence on oath.
The Labour Court may refer a question of law arising in the appeal to the High Court. The High Court’s determination is final and conclusive.
Appealing a Labour Court decision
In most cases, the decision may be appealed to the High Court by either party but only on a point of law. Again, the High Court’s determination is final and conclusive.
Enforcement of a Labour Court decision
An employer has 42 days to implement the Labour Court’s decision. If the employer fails to do so, the employee, the Workplace Relations Commission, the employee’s trade union or excepted body may apply to the District Court for an order directing the employer to do so.(An excepted body is a body that represents the interests of a particular group of workers.) The District Court must grant the order.
In cases where compensation is to be paid, the District Court may also order the payment of interest. It is an offence to fail to comply with an order directing an employer to pay such compensation to an employee unless the employer can show, on the balance of probabilities, that they were unable to comply with the order due to financial circumstances.