The purpose and mission of the Workplace Relations Commission’s (WRC) Conciliation Service is to provide an impartial, fast and effective conciliation service operating to a uniformly high standard in both the public and private sectors.
Conciliation is a voluntary process in which the parties to a dispute agree to avail of a neutral and impartial third party to assist them in resolving their industrial relations differences. The WRC provides a conciliation service by making available Industrial Relations Officers of the Commission to chair ‘conciliation conferences’. These officers are sometimes referred to as ‘IROs’ or as ‘Conciliation Officers’. Conciliation conferences are basically an extension of the process of direct negotiations, with an independent chairperson present to steer the discussions and explore possible avenues of settlement in a non-prejudicial fashion. Participation in the conciliation process is voluntary, and so too are the outcomes. Solutions are reached only by consensus, whether by negotiation and agreements facilitated between the parties themselves, or by the parties agreeing to settlement terms proposed by the Conciliation Officer.
The Conciliation Officer treats as confidential all information received during the course of conciliation.
The conciliation process is informal and non-legalistic in its practice. The parties are free to represent themselves or be represented by trade unions or by employer organisations. The Commission does not believe that the nature of the process requires legal representation of any party at conciliation meetings. (For more information on conciliation see Conciliation Frequently Asked Questions)
In the event of a dispute not being resolved at Conciliation the matter may be referred, by agreement of all parties, to a full hearing of the Labour Court for determination.
There are three ways to request the assistance of the Conciliation Services:
1. By writing to The Conciliation, Advisory and Mediation Services, Workplace Relations Commission, Lansdowne House, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4, D04 A3A6. or
2. By using the online Conciliation referral form or
3. By contacting the Conciliation Services by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org