The Labour Court has told both sides in the health staff support dispute that it will reconvene on Monday 22 July after deliberating on the last four days of engagement aimed at resolving the row.

However, it has warned the parties that it expects both sides to cooperate with the court, and not to engage in any "aggravating actions" in the meantime.

In a statement to management and SIPTU, the court noted that its role under the Industrial Relations Act is to investigate disputes. 

It said that in the course of four days of engagement, it has heard both parties' positions and proposes as part of its investigations to reflect on the engagement to date over the next ten days and to meet again with the parties on 22 July.

SIPTU has accepted the invitation to attend the hearing.

The dispute centres on a job evaluation scheme, which the Government agreed to carry out during negotiations on the last Public Service Stability Agreement. 

The job evaluations examine whether roles have changed and whether pay rises are warranted.

Affected grades include health care assistants, maternity care assistants, laboratory aides, chefs, and surgical instrument technicians, as well as workers in portering, household and catering services.