Appealing a workplace relations decision


Under the Workplace Relations Act 2015 the Labour Court is the appeal body for all workplace relations appeals.

You can mke an appeal about decisions made by a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) adjudicator.

Making an appeal

Your case must first be heard by a WRC adjudicator. You can appeal the adjudicator's decision to the Labour Court.

The time limit for making an appeal is 42 days after the date of the WRC decision.

This time limit can be extended if the Labour Court is satisfied that there were exceptional circumstances causing the delay.

The Labour Court can decide to deal with a complaint or dispute by written submissions only. Either party can object to this but must object within 42 days of being told.

Going to the hearing

You do not have to be represented at the Labour Court.

If you want to, you can be accompanied and represented at the hearing by:

  • A trade union official
  • An official of a body which represents the interests of employers
  • A practising barrister or practising solicitor
  • A parent or guardian, if you are under 18 (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 make sure that you are not at a disadvantage as a result.

What happens at the hearing?

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 can refer a question of law arising in the appeal to the High Court. The High Court’s decision is final and conclusive.

If you win your case

If you win your case, your employer has 42 days to implement the Labour Court’s decision.

If you get compensation

Your employer must comply with an order directing them to pay compensation to you. Any employer who does not comply is committing an offence, unless they can show they were unable to pay due to financial circumstances.

If your employer does not comply

If the employer does not implement the Labour Court’s decision within 42 days, you can apply to the District Court for an order directing the employer to do so. The Workplace Relations Commission or your trade union or another excepted body can also apply to the District Court for an order on your behalf. An excepted body is a body that represents the interests of a particular group of workers (for example, an internal employee forum that negotiates terms of employment with an employer).

The District Court must grant the order. If you are due compensation, the District Court can also order that interest is paid.

If you lose your case

In most cases, the decision can be appealed to the High Court by either party but only on a point of law.

Again, the High Court’s decision is final and conclusive.

How to apply

To appeal the decision of an adjudicator to the Labour Court you use the Labour Court appeals form (pdf). You must make an appeal within 42 days from the date of the decision.

There is more information about making an appeal on

Page edited: 2 August 2022