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Complaints & Disputes

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How to Make a Complaint/Refer a Dispute


Complaints in relation to contraventions of, and disputes as to entitlements under, employment, equality and equal status legislation may be presented/referred to the Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission.

The complaint should be presented and/or dispute referred using the Workplace Relations Complaint Form.

Note 1 — You should note that the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) will send a copy of the complaint or dispute to the other party (the employer or service provider) where you have opted to have the matter dealt with by an Adjudication Officer and all relevant correspondence sent to the WRC by either party will be copied to the other party to the complaint.

Note 2 — Before a complaint under Equal Status legislation is presented/referred, there is a legal requirement that the person/organisation/company against whom you are considering making a complaint is notified in writing of the alleged discriminatory act. For further details of the written notification requirement, please see the section 'Making a Complaint Under the Equal Status Acts' on the Equal Status page.

Note 3 — Users of Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari must follow the instructions in this related document - Resolving Download Issues - in order to allow them to use the full interactive functionality of the form. (Document Opens in a new window)

Note 4 — As this form requires Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac or Windows this form will not be compatible with the majority of mobile or tablet devices.

The Complaint Form should not be used for the following:

  • Appealing against a Decision made by a Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer— please see the 'Appeals' section of this website for the appropriate form
  • Referring a collective dispute to the Labour Court or the Workplace Relations Commission’s Conciliation Services
  • Seeking Enforcement of a decision made by a Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer where the employer has not fully complied with the terms of the decision — please see the 'Enforcing Decisions on Complaints/Disputes' page
  • Seeking information from the Workplace Relations Commission or Labour Court — please use the online 'Contact Us' form
  • Making a referral to the Labour Court under Section 20(1) or Section 20(2) of the Industrial Relations Acts 1969

On receipt of the Complaint/Dispute, the Workplace Relations Commission will acknowledge receipt and, in the case of complaints/disputes which fall to be dealt with by means of adjudication, will forward details of the complaint to the Employer/Respondent. Complaints/disputes which fall to be investigated by means of inspection and associated enquiries will be referred to the Commission's Inspection Services.

In certain cases, the Workplace Relations Commission may offer a mediation service in order to facilitate attempts at a resolution of the issues at hand, without recourse to formal adjudication. Mediation may only be offered where both parties consent - otherwise the complaint or dispute will be referred to an Adjudication Officer. Note that the Complaint Form asks Complainants to indicate if they would be willing to avail of mediation services to facilitate the resolution of the complaint/dispute should the Workplace Relations Commission be in a position to offer these services in their case.

The table below summarises the resolution options/services available for dealing with complaints/disputes. You may use the links in the left hand column to view further information.

Resolution Option/Service
(Click an option for further information)

Adjudication OfficerWhere a complaint is made, or a dispute presented, to the Workplace Relations Commission and the issue does not fall to be investigated by an inspector, the Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission will normally refer the complaint/dispute to an Adjudication Officer for decision.
Mediation Officer

The Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission may, where he or she is of the opinion that a complaint or dispute is capable of being resolved without being referred to an Adjudication Officer, refer the complaint/dispute for mediation by a Mediation Officer. However, the complaint/dispute may only be referred for mediation where both parties so consent.


Certain complaints/disputes fall to be investigated by means of an inspection and associated enquiries. In such cases the complaint/dispute will be referred to an inspector of the Workplace Relations Commission.


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