What is the Industrial Court?

The Industrial Court (the Court) is a Tribunal Non-Departmental Public Body with statutory powers. It was originally set up in 1919 to provide arbitration in industrial disputes and it still carries out this voluntary arbitration role. However its main function is now to adjudicate on applications relating to statutory recognition and derecognition of trade unions for collective bargaining purposes, where such recognition or derecognition cannot be agreed voluntarily. It also has a statutory power in relation to determining disputes between trade unions and employers over the disclosure of information for collective bargaining purposes. In addition, it has responsibility for dealing with complaints under a range of legislation deriving from European Directives, which provide employees with Information and Consultation rights at national and European level.

The Court currently consists of a Chairman, 4 members experienced as representatives of employers and 4  members experienced as representatives of workers. The Court is supported by a Secretariat.

All members of the Court are appointed by the Department for the Economy after consulting the Labour Relations Agency.

Determinations are made by panels of three Court members appointed by the Chairman and consisting of either the Chairman himself or the Deputy Chairman, one member whose experience is as a representative of employers, and one member whose experience is as a representative of workers.