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84.—(1) Where the Agency apprehends that a trade dispute may occur it may take all steps which it considers appropriate for avoiding such trade dispute.
(2) Where a trade dispute exists the Agency may—
(a)inquire into the causes and circumstances of the trade dispute;
(b)form a view on the matter in dispute;
(c)express, either publicly or to the parties to the dispute, the view it has formed on the matter in dispute;
(d)assist the parties to the trade dispute to achieve a settlement of the dispute by conciliation or otherwise;
(e)at any time, with the agreement of the parties, refer the matter for settlement to the arbitration of—
(i)one or more persons appointed by the Agency; or
(ii)the Industrial Court;
(f)at any time, with the agreement of the parties, refer the matter to one or more persons appointed by the Agency to inquire into the matter and report to the Agency thereon;
(g)if it is satisfied that no appropriate agreed procedures for negotiation or the settlement of disputes exist between the parties, at any time, with the agreement of the parties, refer the dispute to a committee appointed in accordance with paragraph (3) whose function shall be to—
(i)inquire into the causes and circumstances of the dispute; and
(ii)seek the agreement of the parties to the dispute as to how it may be settled.
(3) The committee referred to in paragraph (2)(g) shall consist of—
(a)a chairman appointed by the Agency; and
(b)such equal number of representatives of each party to the trade dispute as the Agency may determine.
(4) In exercising its functions under paragraph (2)(d), the Agency shall have regard to the desirability of encouraging the parties to a dispute to use any appropriate agreed procedures for negotiation or the settlement of disputes.
(5) In exercising its functions under paragraph (2)(e), the Agency shall consider the likelihood of the dispute being settled by conciliation and, where there exist appropriate agreed procedures for negotiation or the settlement of disputes, shall not refer a matter for settlement to arbitration under that sub-paragraph unless those procedures have been used and have failed to result in a settlement or unless, in the opinion of the Agency, there is a special reason which justifies arbitration under that sub-paragraph as an alternative to those procedures.
(6) For the purpose of exercising its powers under paragraph (2)(e)(i) the Agency may maintain a register of persons who, having regard to their knowledge and experience, would, in the opinion of the Agency, be suitable for appointment by the Agency as arbitrators.
(7) Nothing in paragraph (2) prejudices the operation of any other statutory provision conferring on a person or body a power to refer any matter connected with a trade dispute to arbitration or for inquiry or the right of the parties to the dispute to establish at any time appropriate procedures for negotiation or the settlement of disputes.
(8) The Agency may pay to persons appointed under paragraph (2)(e)(i) or (f) or (3)(a) such fees and such allowances for expenses as the Agency, with the approval of the Department and the Department of Finance and Personnel, may determine.
(9) [F1Part I of the Arbitration Act 1996] shall not apply to any arbitration under this Article.
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