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Keep up to date with the latest in employment relations in Northern Ireland

Changes to Fit Note requirements in Northern Ireland

08 April 2022
The requirements for doctors fit notes in Northern Ireland have been amended to remove the need for a doctor to produce a fit note in ink. The change becomes live from the 6th April 2022. The Department For Communities have explained the change here. The legislation for the change can be found here or on our dedicated legislation pages on this website. (click the legislation button at the top of this page)

Parental bereavement leave and pay legislation arrives

05 April 2022
Following its passage through the Assembly, the legislation for Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay comes in to effect in Northern Ireland from the 6th April 2022. More information on the legislation can be found on our dedicated legislation pages (click the link at the top of the page) or by calling our Workplace Information Service on 03300 555 300

Changes to rates and payments in Northern Ireland April 2022

05 April 2022
There have been changes to statutory rates (such as the national minimum wage) and other payments in April 2022. These are outlined in the document below. If you have any queries on these or other questions, please contact our Workplace Information Service on 03300 555 300                                 

SSP Entitlement Northern Ireland – Temporary Extension

25 March 2022
Temporary changes were made to the SSP Regulations effective from 14th December 2020 to deal with the exceptional circumstances faced by employers and employees in relation to Covid related illness.

Statement re P&O

17 March 2022
A spokesperson for the Labour Relations Agency said: “When it comes to redundancy there are certain rights and responsibilities involved, such as the need to establish appropriate criteria, undertake a fair consultation and procedure. Redundancy payments also need to be considered.

New Hybrid Working Guide Offers Timely Support to Employers

08 March 2022
To coincide with the easing of Covid restrictions and anticipated lifting of the ‘work from home’ recommendation, a new guide offering NI employers the most up-to-date advice on ‘Hybrid Working’ has been launched by the Labour Relations Agency (LRA) for Northern Ireland.

LRA Confirms Spike in Calls from Distressed Hospitality Sector

22 December 2021
NI’s Labour Relations Agency (LRA) has recorded a spike in calls from the local hospitality sector following the emergence of the Omicron variant and tightening of public health restrictions and introduction of new guidance to respond to this.

LRA Publishes Guidance on Managing Vaccination Issues in the Workplace

07 June 2021
The Labour Relations Agency (LRA) has published a free guide for employers and employees on the COVID-19 vaccination and the workplace.  The guidance includes a sample vaccination policy that employers can tailor to reflect their needs.

Economy Minister welcomes new legislation to protect Northern Ireland workers

19 April 2021
Economy Minister Diane Dodds has welcomed new employment legislation which will benefit workers across Northern Ireland. The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (Protection from Detriment in Health and Safety Cases) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2021 extends protections against detriment in health and safety cases to workers in relation to any action they may take to protect themselves or others where they reasonably believe there is serious and imminent danger in their place of work. It will come into operation on 31 May 2021. At present, these protections cover only employees. The Order must be approved by a resolution of the Assembly within six months of coming into operation. It must therefore be confirmed on or before 31 November 2021. The move has its origins in a Judicial Review brought by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the Health and Safety Executive in Great Britain. A High Court Judgment was published in November which directed that the Health and Safety Framework Directive and the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Directive should apply to a wider group of workers, not just employees. Minister Dodds said: “This Order is about more than about responding appropriately to the decision of a High Court ruling. It will also give clarity to business and individuals.  “As businesses emerge from lockdown, everyone will need to be protected during the transition back to the workplace. “This Order will allow some of our most vulnerable workers the legal protection they need to act to ensure their own safety and the safety of others without fear of suffering detriment for doing the right thing. This includes protecting them against being denied promotion or training opportunities.”

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Amendment No. 4) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021

These Regulations are made in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Northern Ireland.  Effective from 24/5/21, Regulation 4 introduces an exemption for gatherings in respect of lawful industrial action.

Economy Minister welcomes new legislation to protect Northern Ireland workers

The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (Protection from Detriment in Health and Safety Cases) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2021 extends protections against detriment in health and safety cases to workers in relation to any action they may take to protect themselves or others where they reasonably believe there is serious and imminent danger in their place of work.

For more info visit https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/news/economy-minister-welcomes-new-legislation-protect-northern-ireland-workers

Economy Minister Introduces Bill for Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay

Economy Minister Diane Dodds today introduced a Bill to the Assembly to legislate for statutory Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay in Northern Ireland.

Read more.

 Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order (Northern Ireland) 2021

The Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order (Northern Ireland) 2021 brings changes to Statutory Sick Pay, Maternity Pay, Paternity pay and Parental pay from 6 April 2021.