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April 2008 - Employment Law Developments

On 1st of April changes are due to come into effect relating to up-rating certain statutory payments including Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay and Statutory Paternity Pay which will all rise to £117.18 per week

On 6th of April Statutory Sick Pay will rise to £75.40 per week

Also on 6th of April there will be a number of developments on the employment law front here in Northern Ireland.

Firstly, phase 3 of the Information and Consultation of Employees (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2005(opens new window) will come into force. These Regulations mean that employers who employ 50 or more employees may need to comply with the requirements of the law if the right is triggered by 10% of the employees (but not less than 15 employees).

Secondly, the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008(opens new window) will come into effect on 6th April. These Regulations clarify issues relating to the 2005 Regulations, simplify  the administrative burdens on employment agencies in certain contexts and make it easier for work-seekers to withdraw from additional services provided by the employment agency.

Thirdly, the Certification Officer (Fees) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008(opens new window) also come into effect on 6th April. These Regulations effectively update the fees from 1997 in relation to six particular issues, including – fees payable on application for entry of the name of any organisation of workers/employers whenever formed, fee for certificate of independence, fee for approval of instrument of amalgamation, fee for approval of name change, fee for inspection of documents held at Certification Office and so on.

Finally, although this Act of Parliament relates to criminal law it does have applicability in an employment context. The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007(opens new window) comes into effect in Northern Ireland on 6th April and this new Act covers – management/organisation causes death and this amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care and senior management must make a substantial contribution to the breach.