Introduction to Conciliation
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 differences.
The Labour Relations Commission 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.