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Safety Committee/Representatives

The Safety Representative and Safety Committee (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1979 apply to organisations that have recognised Trade Unions for collective bargaining purposes.  The legislation permits the Trade Union to appoint safety representatives from among the workforce whose functions include:

  • investigating causes of accidents
  • representing employees in consultation with the employer
  • investigate potential hazards and dangerous occurrences

Safety representatives are entitled to time off to fulfil their functions and undertake relevant training. They also have a right not to be unfairly dismissed or suffer a detriment for fulfilling or proposing to fulfil their functions.   

In addition the regulations also require an employer to set up a safety committee upon a written request from 2 or more safety representatives.  

The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 compel employers in non-unionised organisations to consult with their workforce on health and safety matters.  Consultation can take place at an individual employee level or through elected safety representatives, whose functions and rights are similiar to those detailed above. The employer should ensure that the representatives are provided with (at the employers expense) appropriate training in health and safety matters.  

Further information is available from the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland, www.hseni.gov.uk, or 028 9024 3249

Secondary Industrial Action

Secondary action - which is sometimes referred to as ‘sympathy’ action, or ‘solidarity’ action - is defined as industrial action by workers whose employer is not a party to the trade dispute to which the action relates and is therefore unlawful.

See:
  • Secondary Industrial Action
  • Severance Payment

    Severance payments are made in connection with termination of employment and usually contain any wages/salary owing to an employee as well as outstanding holiday payment and any other benefits.  Severance payments may also include an Ex-gratia payment. 

    See:
  • Ex-gratia Payments
  • Redundancy
  • Sexual Orientation

    It is against the law to discriminate on the grounds of a person’s sexual orientation. To that end the duty of an equality driven employer is to provide equality and fairness for all in employees and not to discriminate on grounds of gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age and oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination.

    Sexual Orientation

    Shared Parental Leave (SPL)

    SPL is a legal entitlement for eligible parents of babies due, or children placed for adoption, on or after 5 April 2015. It provides both parents with the opportunity to consider the best arrangement to care for their child during the child’s first year. The regulations give parents the right to take SPL and place a duty on employers to ensure that their employees are not penalised for using their entitlement or put under pressure to cancel/change a leave notification.

    Employers - 

    https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/shared-parental-leave-and-pay

    See:
  • Shared Parental Leave: A Good Practice Guide for Employers and Employees
  • Smoking at Work

    Since April 2007 it is illegal for employers in Northern Ireland to continue with many practices, such as:

       - allowing employees to smoke in 'smoking rooms'

       - segregating smokers and non-smokers within the building

    Employees

    Smoking at work

    Employers

    Smoking at work

     

    Social Networking

    Smart phones, internet, tweeting, blogging - we have accepted all of these innovations, and many more, as part of our working lives, helping us to work more flexibly, stay in touch for longer and respond to each other more quickly.

    However, some estimates report that misuse of the internet and social media by workers costs Britain's economy billions of pounds every year and add that many employers are already grappling with issues like time theft, defamation, cyber bullying, freedom of speech and the invasion of privacy.

    So how should employers respond to the challenges posed by social networking tools at work?

    The Agency also holds seminars on Social Media and the employment relationship. To check availability click on seminars

    See:
  • Advice on Social Media and the Employment Relationship
  • Some Other Substantial Reason (SOSR)

    A dismissal for some other substantial reason is one of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal.

    See:
  • Dismissal
  • Statutory Adoption Pay

    One of the qualifying conditions for receipt of SAP is to have average weekly earnings (before tax) of £116 or more (April 2018)

    During their adoption leave most employees will be eligible for Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) of up to 39 weeks from their employer.

    The rate of SAP is the lesser of a flat rate - currently £144.18 (April 2018) - or 90% of their average weekly earnings.

    The flat rate is subject to review every April.

    Employees- -Adoption rights in the workplace

    Employers- -Adoption leave and pay

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    Telephone Enquiry Point

    The Agency’s Enquiry Point is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. Enquiry Point advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Enquiry Point is also an important contact point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.

    The Enquiry Point provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.

    While the advisors cannot provide a legal opinion they can help callers gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as well as identifying possible options to help resolve their issues.

    028 9032 1442
    Monday - Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm
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