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1871-1976

Index of employment-related statute (Acts and Orders) 1871-1976

1871 - Trade Union Act

This Act was one of the earliest pieces of collective labour law ever enacted.

The Act dealt with issues such as union responsibility for restraint of trade issues as well as legal status issues. The Act was repealed by Schedule 6 to the No. 807 (NI 5) Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.

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1875 – Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act

This Act abolished the common law crime of conspiracy in relation to trade disputes. This Act was repealed by Schedule 4 to the No. 1980 (NI 12) The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995.

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1876 - Trade Union Act Amendment Act

As with the 1871 Act noted above, this Act was repealed by the 1992 Industrial Relations Order No. 807 (NI 5).

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1906 - Trade Disputes Act

This Act granted a degree of legal immunity for strike action by abolishing the tort of simple civil conspiracy when acts were performed “in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute” (It is interesting to note that the language used in quotation marks is still the basis of the current position almost 100 years later.). This Act was repealed by the No. 936 (NI 9) Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 which in turn has had several Articles repealed by the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.

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1913 - Trade Union Act

This Act legalised, subject to certain conditions, the establishment of political funds by trade unions. This Act was repealed by Schedule 6 to the No. 807 (NI 5) Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.

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1919 - Industrial Courts Act

This Act established the creation of the Industrial Court for the first time. The Industrial Court was reconstituted on 8 March 2001 and has statutory functions under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 and the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.

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1927 - Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act (Northern Ireland)

This act made “general strikes” unlawful and also made it obligatory for union members to “contract in” in order to contribute to the union’s political fund. This Act was repealed by Schedule 6 to the No. 807 (NI 5) Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.

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1928 - 1944 No employment-related primary legislation

For this period there is no record of significant principal legislation in the field of employment detailed on the OFMDFM/HMSO website. However, recognition of the effect of the then emergency powers legislation should be noted in terms of the impacts in the employment sphere and its relationship to the war effort, for example strike-related legislation and so on.

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1945 - Disabled Persons (Employment) Act (Northern Ireland) [Ch.6]

This Act dealt with vocational training and industrial rehabilitation courses and provisions for enabling registered disabled persons to obtain employment or undertake to work on their own account. Repeals and amendments were made by the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) (Schedules 7 and 8) [Ch. 50].

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1946 - 1964 No employment-related primary legislation

For this period there is no record of significant principal legislation in the field of employment detailed on the OFMDFM/HMSO website.

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1965 - Contracts of Employment and Redundancy Payments Act (Northern Ireland)

This Act was the first detailed piece of legislation that made provisions for several areas regarding individual employment rights and entitlements. The Act was arranged into Parts: Contracts of Employment (notice, written particulars of terms of employment, and so on); Redundancy Payments (provisions, exclusions, dismissal, lay-off/short-time, continuity, written particulars of redundancy payment and so on); The Northern Ireland Redundancy Fund; Miscellaneous and Supplementary Provisions. This Act was repealed entirely by the No. 1919 (NI 16) Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

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1965 - The Factories Act (Northern Ireland) [Ch.20]

This Act covered issues in relation to health, safety and welfare. The Act made provisions for: Health (general provisions); Safety (general provisions); Welfare (general provisions); Health, Safety and Welfare (Special Provisions and Regulations); Notification and Investigation of Accidents and Industrial Diseases; the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children (prohibition of employment, exemptions, certificate of fitness for employment of young persons); Special Applications and Extensions; Wages; Notices, Returns, Records, Duties of Persons Employed, and Application of Weights and Measures Acts; Administration; and Offences, Penalties and Legal Proceedings. Many of the provisions of this Act have been repealed and replaced by the No. 1039 (NI 9) Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.

The Factories Act (NI) 1965(opens new window)

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1965 - Trade Union (Amalgamations, Etc.) Act (Northern Ireland)

This Act was repealed by Schedule 6 to the No. 807 (NI 5) Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.

Trade Union (Amalgamations, Etc.) Act (Northern Ireland) 1965(opens new window)

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1966 - 1969 No employment-related primary legislation

For this period there is no record of significant principal legislation in the field of employment on the OFMDFM/HMSO website.

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1970 - The Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) [Ch.32]

This Act was regarded as something of a landmark in its time in that it provided the basis for equal payment for men and women in the employ of the same employer provided that the comparative work between a male and female was: like work, work rated as equivalent, or work of equal value (inserted by Article 2(1), the Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1984). The latter underlie equal pay claims based on opposite sex comparisons. The Act has been subject to numerous amendments during the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s and has been interpreted in new ways by recent case law decisions. Repeals and amendment sources include the following - The Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976, Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulations 1984, Wages (Northern Ireland) Order 1988, Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996, Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

The Equal Pay Act (NI) [Ch.32]:(opens new window)

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1971 - 1975 No employment-related primary legislation

For this period there is no record of significant principal legislation in the field of employment on the OFMDFM/HMSO website.

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1976 - No. 1042 (NI 15) The Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order was one of the very first pieces of anti-discrimination legislation brought into Northern Ireland. The Sex Discrimination Order details the following parts: Part I - Introduction (interpretation); Part II - Discrimination to which Order Applies (direct, indirect, gender re-assignment, on basis of being married, victimisation, the basis of comparison); Part III - Discrimination in the Employment Field (by employers - for example, applicants and employees, by those with statutory power to select employees for others, genuine occupational qualifications, exceptions, equal pay, discrimination against contract workers and the meaning of employment at establishment); Discrimination by Other Bodies (partnerships, trade unions, and so on); Part IV - Discrimination in Other Fields (education; goods, facilities, services and premises); Part V - Other Unlawful Acts (discriminatory practices, adverts, instructions, pressure to discriminate, liability and aiding); Part VI - Exceptions (charities, insurance, etc.); Part VII - Equal Opportunities Commission for Northern Ireland; Part VIII - Enforcement. The Order has been, and continues to be, amended by a variety of sources including the following: Northern Ireland Act (1998) [Ch. 47]; Sex Discrimination (Code of Practice) (Recruitment and Selection) Order 1998; Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999; Sex Discrimination (Indirect Discrimination and Burden of Proof) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001; The Education (Modification of Statutory Provisions Relating to Employment) Order (Northern Ireland) 1991; Equal Opportunities (Employment Legislation) (Territorial Limits) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000. (Note - there exists an obvious link between sex discrimination and equal pay. However, anomalies do exist, for example, in areas such as usage of comparators, time limits for claims, limitations to damages claimed and so on.) (For more information on anti-discrimination legislation click on the link to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland below.)

No.1042 (NI15) The Sex Discrimination (NI) Order:(opens new window)

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1976 - The Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act

This Act was the first incarnation of what was considered at the time to be groundbreaking anti-discrimination legislation on the basis of religious belief or political opinion. This legislation was indigenous to Northern Ireland and although now replaced by more recent and amended versions it is still worthy of acknowledgement for historical reference purposes. The 1976 Act was passed to comply with the recommendations of the Van Straubenzee Report 1973 and consisted of several parts including: the establishment of the then FEA (Fair Employment Agency), what constitutes unlawful discrimination and less favourable treatment and victimisation, and other unlawful acts. Although the 1976 Act is now confined to the annals of history it did provide the basic framework for its chief successors, namely The Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1989 and the Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998. (It is interesting to note that in 2003 the Government implemented a European Directive based on employment equality designed to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of religious belief which would apply to the remainder of the UK and amend slightly the existing Northern Ireland provisions.)

Link

The Fair Employment (NI) Act:(opens new window)

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1976 - The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order and The Industrial Relations (No. 2) (Northern Ireland) Order

These Orders are included both for historical and reference purposes given their direct relationship to the Labour Relations Agency. Both the No. 1 and No. 2 Orders have been repealed by the No. 1919 (NI 16) The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996. However, for information purposes the 1976 Orders did cover a number of topics, including: Rights of Employees (for the No. 1 Order - unfair dismissal, remedies for unfair dismissal, insolvency, written statement of reasons for dismissal; for the No. 2 Order - guarantee payments, suspension from work on medical grounds, maternity, trade union membership and activities, time off work, insolvency, itemised pay statement, extension of terms and conditions, excluded classes of employment). Of significant interest is the fact that Part 2 of the No. 1 Order established the formation of the Labour Relations Agency and the Agency now operates essentially under the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 as amended by the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995.

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