LRA launches new employer toolkit for businesses in Northern Ireland

Helen Smyth (LRA) and Zara King (Glover & King Solicitors) unveil the new online toolkit, which is free for all businesses in the north. Picture: Phil Smyth

A NEW online toolkit, developed to help existing and growing businesses navigate the diverse rules and regulations of the employment landscape, has been launched by the Labour Relations Agency (LRA).

Free to use and totally impartial, the new service is accessible via the LRA's website ( and outlines the full range of policies and procedures needed for the workplace, particularly as organisations adapt to new ways of working in a post-pandemic world.

All businesses across Northern Ireland, irrespective of size, scale or sector, can use the online toolkit which provides the most up to date employment advice, draft documentation and information on a single platform.

Each document can be downloaded and either replicated or adapted to fit the specific needs of the organisation. This includes a ‘Written Statement of Employment Particulars' template, an essential document that must be issued to new employees within two months of commencing employment.

Other areas covered range from the prevention and management of disputes within the workplace to handling sickness absence. Topical issues such as harassment, bullying, and supporting employees through the menopause are also fully covered.

According to LRA employment relations manager Helen Smyth, the online toolkit enables employers to be fully up to speed on employee rights and responsibilities:

“The aim is to offer employers and HR practitioners a highly efficient guide which is not only accessible but easy to use and understand. It is empowering and confidence-building as it encourages businesses and workforces to be more informed and in control of all the policies and procedures they have in place.”

The launch of the toolkit supplements the array of free information available from the LRA. This includes its recently published Hybrid Working Guide, which aims to support businesses and organisations as workforces continue to return to offices after two years of home working.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons welcomed the new addition to the LRA's suite of services, adding: “I commend the LRA on their development of this toolkit that will assist both new and existing businesses in Northern Ireland navigate our employment relations rules and regulations and adopt best practice in employment relations generally.

“I'm sure many will benefit from having the most up to date employment advice, draft documentation and information on policies and procedures needed for the workplace, all within a single platform, accessible online and free of charge.”

Glover and King Solicitors is just one of the many organisations that have already benefited from the online service.

Its director Zara King said: “As a small firm, the employment toolkit was a tremendous help to our business. We're grateful to the LRA for their support and guidance in introducing us to this service.

“It's easy to use and helps point you in the right direction in terms of your specific business needs. I would highly recommend this online tool to any organisation.”

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