Conciliation Services

What is Conciliation?

Conciliation is the amicable resolution of a dispute. It involves a method of alternative dispute resolution whereby a third party meets with the parties and assists them in finding a way to settle their dispute.

 

Conciliation Services

Conciliation is carried out by the Members of the Industrial Court in accordance with section 12 of the Industrial Relations Act, Chap. 88:01.

 

The Conciliation Process

At the request of the parties, matters are referred for conciliation before a Member of the Court. Parties can make such a request:

 

History of Conciliation

The Conciliation process at the Industrial Court stemmed from the development of the Industrial Relations System in Trinidad and Tobago, which started with the enactment of the Trade Disputes (Arbitration and Inquiry) Ordinance of 1938. This Ordinance laid the foundation for the determination of disputes through collective bargaining, and was the first in formally legislating the use of the conciliation technique as part of the formal structure of the Industrial Relations System. This Ordinance was then repealed and replaced by the Industrial Stabilisation Act of 1965, which established the Industrial Court and included provisions for the Court to settle disputes by conciliation.

The Industrial Stabilisation Act, 1965 was repealed and replaced by the Industrial Relations Act (IRA), 1972 “to make better provision for the stabilisation, improvement and promotion of industrial relations”. The IRA retained the provision to settle disputes by conciliation (see section 12 of the IRA).

 

Statistics

Court Statistics reveal that, under the Industrial Stabilisation Act 1965, one thousand and fifty-three (1, 053) matters were filed for the period of 1965 to 1972. Three hundred and eight (308) of these matters filed were settled through conciliation.

Furthermore, under the Industrial Relations Act 1972, Chap 88:01, seventeen thousand, nine hundred and sixty-three (17, 963) matters were filed during the period of 1973 to 2015. Four thousand, one hundred and ninety-eight (4, 198) of these matters were settled by conciliation.