The Labour Court and its conciliation service were established under the Industrial Relations Act 1946 to conciliate and adjudicate on industrial disputes. In 1978 the Government established the commission of inquiry on Industrial Relations to identify and address issues causing industrial unrest.
Its 1981 recommendations made way for a Labour Relations Commission (LRC) to resolve disputes through dialogue and conciliation separate from the Labour Court. The LRC can refer unresolved disputes to the Labour Court for investigation.
Appeals from Rights Commissioners depending on the legislation and matters under other statutes are also heard by the court. When the court investigates a dispute it usually issues recommendations and the terms on which it should be settled. In most cases, the courts recommendations are not legally binding but carry strong moral authority.
A recent survey showed that only 5% of recommendations were rejected by both parties. The Labour Court is a court of last resort and should only be used when all other efforts have failed.