Governance and Tripartism Department

Access to labour justice: A diagnostic tool for self-assessing the effectiveness of labour dispute prevention and resolution

The ILO developed a diagnostic tool for the self-assessment of the functioning of judicial and non-judicial institutions for dispute prevention and resolution to help governments and social partners to get a common understanding of the current situation, identify potential opportunities and challenges, and jointly devise measures to address them.

Disputes are an inevitable part of the employment relationship, particularly in times of fundamental change in the organization of work, of economic hardship and of job losses. With the aim of maintaining harmonious relationships in the workplace, many governments—cooperating with the social partners— have instituted regulatory and institutional frameworks to enable effective dispute management and resolution, in courts of law and outside them, through dialogue and negotiation.
Indeed, an effective dispute prevention and resolution system is a distinct element of good labour market governance and the means to realize inclusive access to labour justice in individual and collective disputes. If well designed and functional, such a system helps every worker and employer—and their organizations—to be heard and to have their labour dispute settled fast, fairly and affordably.
This diagnostic tool not only provides clarity on “effectiveness principles,” based on which self-assessment may be conducted by labour dispute prevention and resolution institutions, but also lays out a clear methodology for their application to these institutions. The tool guides members of an institution’s self-assessment team through a reflective process to analyse the effectiveness of their institution, leading to tripartite discussions on the institution’s performance and opportunities for improvement, as well as a potential roadmap for further action.