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1995-1999

Index of employment-related statute (Acts and Orders) 1995-1999

1995 - Employment-related Statutory Rules

In 1995 there were several employment-related Statutory Rules passed for Northern Ireland covering areas such as: Statutory Sick Pay percentage threshold, Fair Employment Tribunal remedies, Trade Union and Labour Relations (1995 Order) (Commencement and Transitional Provisions) Order (Northern Ireland) 1995.

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1995 - Disability Discrimination Act

This UK-wide Act of Parliament brought the issue of disability under the protection of a robust piece of anti-discrimination legislation which has been added to and amended frequently from 1996-2004, and indeed is perhaps one of the most wide ranging and controversial pieces of legislation in recent years. The 1995 Act covers: meaning of “disability” and “disabled person”, past disabilities, guidance; Employment - discrimination by employers, enforcement, discrimination by other persons, premises occupied under leases, occupational pension schemes and insurance services; Discrimination in Other Areas (goods, facilities and services, premises, enforcement, education); Public Transport (taxis, public service vehicles, rail vehicles, supplemental); The National Disability Council; Supplemental; Miscellaneous and eight Schedules. However, as indicated earlier, the 1995 Act has changed significantly over the years, for example, recently in Northern Ireland (Oct 2004) statutory rule No. 55 was implemented - The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004. Users should be aware that areas of the 1995 Act which were previously not in operation are subsequently brought into operation via statutory rules such as Commencement Orders.

Disability Discrimination Act:

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1995 - No. 1980 (NI 12) The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order makes provisions for a number of matters including: Trade Union Administration (registers and financial affairs); Elections for Certain Positions; Rights in Relation to Trade Union Membership (for example, ballots, access to the courts, not to be unjustifiably disciplined); Collective Bargaining, Recognition; Application of Funds for Political Objects; Amalgamations and Similar Matters; Breach of Rules; Industrial Action; Miscellaneous Amendments; and Miscellaneous and General.

No.1980 (NI12) The Trade Union and Labour Relations (NI) Order:

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1996 - Employment-related Statutory Rules

Note in 1996 there were several employment-related Statutory Rules passed for Northern Ireland covering areas such as: Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Commencement No. 1 and No. 2) Orders, Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Commencement No. 3 and Saving and Transitional Provisions) Order, Health and Safety (Repeals and Revocations) Regulations, Employer’s Contributions (Reimbursements) Regulations, Industrial Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations, Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Regulations, Disability Discrimination Regulations - Services and Premises, Employment, Sub-leases and Sub-tenancies, and the Meaning of Disability), Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulations, The Employment of Children Regulations, Fair Employment (Specification of Public Authorities) (Amendment) Order, Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations, Disability Discrimination (Questions and Replies) and (Guidance and Code of Practice) Orders, the Disability Discrimination Code of Practice (Goods, Facilities, Services and Premises) Order and Employment Protection (Continuity of Employment) Regulations.

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1996 - No. 1919 (NI 16) The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order is perhaps the most significant of all those documented on the updated statutes web-page given that the vast majority of an employee’s rights are contained within it (it re-enacts with minor amendments, the Contracts of Employment and Redundancy Payments Act (Northern Ireland) 1965 and the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 and 1993 in terms of employment rights). This Order has been amended and added to in a variety of ways nearly every year since its enactment. This Order is perhaps the most frequently accessed in relation to employment because of its content and coverage which includes: Interpretation of employees, workers, normal working hours; Continuous employment and its calculation; Calculation of a week’s pay in various circumstances; Access to employment (for example, refusals and complaints); Employment particulars (right to statements of employment particulars, right to itemised pay statement, enforcement); Protection of wages (for example, deductions, payments); Guarantee payments (for example, calculation); Protected disclosures; Protection from suffering detriment (for example, health and safety and pension trustees); Action short of dismissal (in relation to union membership/activities); Time off work (for example, public duties, to arrange training in redundancy situations, ante-natal care, pension scheme trustees, employee representatives, trade union duties, trade union activities); Suspension from work (medical grounds, maternity grounds); Maternity leave (note: amended via Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999); Adoption leave; Parental leave; Paternity leave; Termination of employment (minimum period of notice, written statement of reasons for dismissal); Unfair dismissal (the right, dismissal, fairness - for example, family reasons, health and safety, employee representatives, asserting a statutory right, trade union membership or activities); Exclusions of right; Remedies for unfair dismissal (for example, compensation), Redundancy payments, etc. (the right and general exclusions from right); Procedure for handling redundancies (consultation, protective award, complaint to Tribunal, notification); Insolvency of employers (for example, employee’s rights); Miscellaneous particular types of employment (including Crown employment etc., excluded classes of employment).

No.1919 (NI16) The Employment Rights (NI) Order:

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1996 - No. 1921 (NI 18) The Industrial Tribunals (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order deals with the central features of the Industrial Tribunal such as: Jurisdiction; Membership etc. (composition of a tribunal; remuneration, fees and allowances); Procedure (in terms of conduct of hearings, industrial tribunal procedure regulations, procedure in contract cases, pre-hearing reviews and preliminary matters, national security etc., restriction of publicity in cases involving sexual misconduct and disability, costs and expenses, interest, enforcement); Recoupment of social security benefits (power to provide for recoupment of benefits); the Conciliation procedure and the role in this regard of the LRA; and Appeals from industrial tribunals. This Order has been amended by a variety of sources including the Employment Rights (Dispute Resolution) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (No. 1265) (NI 8).

No.1921 (NI18) The Industrial Tribunals (NI) Order:

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1997 - Employment-related Statutory Rules

Note in 1997 there were several employment-related Statutory Rules passed for Northern Ireland including: Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations, Race Relations (1997 Order) (Commencement) Order, Protection from Harassment (1997 Order) (Commencement No. 1) Order, Race Relations (Interest on Awards) Order, Race Relations (Questions and Replies) Order, Race Relations (Formal Investigations) Regulations, Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) (1990 Order) (Commencement No. 2) Order, and Health and Safety (Young Persons) Regulations.

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1997 - No. 1180 (NI 9) The Protection from Harassment (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order was essentially enacted as Northern Ireland’s anti-stalking law. However, as with other Orders such as the Malicious Communications (Northern Ireland) Order 1988, the above Order could be applied in the employment context if the essential components of the offence are present. The Order deals with - pursuing a course of conduct which amounts to harassment, which the alleged perpetrator knows or ought to know amounts to harassment. The Order makes provision for the reasonable person’s interpretation of harassment and details the relevant exemptions, the criminal offence, the civil remedy, what constitutes putting people in fear of violence (course of conduct on at least two occasions). The Order also covers aspects of: restraining orders, limitations and national security.

No.1180 (NI9) The Protection from Harassment (NI) Order:

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1997 - No. 2779 (NI 20) The Shops (Sunday Trading &c.) (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order sets out the provisions for shops opening on Sunday, but it also goes into significant detail on the rights of shop workers in relation to Sunday working. In essence the Order addresses the following: Opening of large shops on Sunday - exemptions, permitted Sunday opening hours for large shops, additional provisions, loading and unloading at large shops on Sunday morning, enforcement and offences; Other provisions (for example, leases and agreements, rights of shop workers as respects Sunday working); Repeal of provisions of the Shops Act (Northern Ireland) 1946. A guide to the Order is available on the Department for Employment and Learning’s website.

No.2779 (NI20) The Shops (Sunday Trading) (NI) Order:

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1997 - No. 869 (NI 6) The Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order essentially brought Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK in terms of having a piece of anti-discrimination legislation dealing with race, ethnic origin or nationality. One of the primary differences between the Northern Ireland and GB race legislation is that Northern Ireland provisions cover members of the Irish Traveller community. The Order essentially deals with various issues including: less favourable treatment, requirements and conditions in terms of indirect discrimination, victimisation, racial grounds and racial group; Discrimination in the employment field (by employers - against applicants and employees, by those with the power to select employees for others, exceptions for genuine occupational qualifications, against contract workers, the meaning of employment at establishment, exceptions; by other bodies - partnerships, unions, qualifying bodies, training providers, employment agencies; police); Discrimination in other fields - education (for example, education and library boards), goods/facilities/services/premises, barristers; Other unlawful acts -discriminatory practices, adverts, instructions, pressure, liability and aiding unlawful acts; Charities; General exceptions; the Commission for Racial Equality for Northern Ireland (now part of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland); Enforcement.

No.869 (NI6) The Race Relations (NI) Order:

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1998 - Employment-related Statutory Rules

Note in 1998 there were several employment-related Statutory Rules passed for Northern Ireland covering areas such as: Race Relations (Prescribed Public Bodies) Regulations, Statutory Maternity Pay (Compensation of Employers) (Amendment) Regulations, Employer’s Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Exemption Regulations, Regulations regarding complaints to Industrial Tribunals by members of the Armed forces relating to Racial Discrimination, Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay, Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Commencement No. 5) Order 1998, Disability Discrimination (Abolition of District Advisory Committees) Order, Sex Discrimination Code of Practice (Recruitment and Selection) Order, Employment Rights (Dispute Resolution) (1998 Order) (Commencement No. 1 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order, National Minimum Wage (employment dismissal procedures agreement) (repeals), Working Time Regulations, Disability Discrimination (Exemption for Small Employers) and the Working Time (Amendment) Regulations.

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1998 - No. 1265 (NI 8) The Employment Rights (Dispute Resolution) (Northern Ireland) Order

One of the central features of this Order was that it led the way for the LRA Unfair Dismissal Arbitration Scheme which came into effect on 28 April 2002. In addition, the Order details issues including: Industrial tribunals - hearings, etc., other provisions; Other methods of dispute resolution - arbitration, compromise agreements, other provisions; and Awards of Compensation.

No.1265 (NI8) The Employment Rights (Dispute Resolution) (NI):

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1998 - No. 1761 (NI 15) The Employment Rights (Time Off for Study or Training) (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order simply outlines the regulations for providing young persons aged 16-17, who are not in full-time secondary or further education and who have not yet achieved a prescribed level of attainment, with time off work to undertake study or training leading to a relevant qualification. The Order goes on to detail issues such as reasonable time off, remuneration provisions and complaints to the industrial tribunal.

No.1761 (NI15) The Employment Rights (Time off for Study):

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1998 - No. 1763 (NI 17) The Public Interest Disclosure (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order is colloquially referred to as the “Whistle-blowing” legislation in that it affords workers protection in the event that they make a disclosure deemed to be in the public interest. The Order details the following: The meaning of a protected disclosure (when a criminal offence has been committed, failure to comply with legal requirement, miscarriages of justice, health and safety danger, damage to the environment, concealing information in relation to the above). The Order then goes on to detail disclosures in relation to the employer, a legal adviser, a Minister of the Crown or a Northern Ireland Department, or a prescribed person. From here the Order goes on to cover, for example, disclosure in other cases, disclosure of exceptionally serious failure, contractual duties of confidentiality, the meaning of “worker”, interpretations and the right not to suffer a detriment, complaints to industrial tribunals, limit on amount of compensation, unfair dismissal, redundancy and restrictions. Finally the Order addresses remedies, working outside Northern Ireland and amendments.

No.1763 (NI17) The Public Interest Disclosure (NI) Order:

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1998 - No. 3162 (NI 21) The Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order is the latest incarnation of the indigenous anti-discrimination law within the context of religious belief and/or political opinion. The Order details definitions of discrimination and unlawful discrimination, affirmative action, equality of opportunity, employment in Northern Ireland, occupation in Northern Ireland. From here the Order covers the following: Functions of the Equality Commission - principal functions (general duties, educational and advisory functions, codes of practice, trends, investigations of practices), directions for promoting equality of opportunity, appeals and legal proceedings in relation to undertakings and directions (for example, tribunal orders and failure to comply), restriction on disclosure of information; Discrimination in the Employment Field (against applicants and employees, against contract workers, discrimination by selectors, discrimination by employment agencies, discrimination by vocational organisations, discrimination by training providers, discrimination by award conferring persons), discrimination by partnerships. The Order goes on to address: Discrimination in Other Fields (Further and higher education, goods/facilities/services and premises, Barristers); Other Unlawful Acts (adverts, accessories, liability of employers/principals). The Order then covers: Enforcement including other enforcement by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, help for persons suffering discrimination and bringing proceedings; Duties of Employers in respect of their workforces - registration, public authorities, monitoring the workforce, review of recruitment/training and promotion practices, enquiries/undertakings and directions, goals and timetables; Fair Employment Tribunal - constitution, procedure, other methods of dispute resolution (including a section on the LRA conciliation function and the arbitration scheme) and appeals; Application to the Crown, the Police and Public Authorities; Amendments; and Schedules.

No.3162 (NI21) The Fair Employment & Treatment (NI) Order:

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1998 - The Northern Ireland Act (1998) C. 47

Although not specifically an employment related Act, the Northern Ireland Act (1998) has some application to employment particularly in relation to the public sector and the statutory duty placed on public authorities with regard to equality of opportunity. In recent years the above statutory duty has become colloquially referred to as the “Section 75” requirement which is a direct reference to the relevant section in the legislation. The Act also addresses matters such as: Legislative powers, Executive Authorities, The Northern Ireland Assembly, North-South Ministerial Council, British-Irish Council, Financial Provisions, Human Rights and Equal Opportunities, Judicial Scrutiny and so on.

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1998 - Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) - Statutory Rule No. 386

These Regulations were considered somewhat seminal back in 1998 because they dealt with issues such as rest, maximum working hours and holiday entitlement amongst other things. The 1998 regulations have been amended several times over the past five years (for example, abolishing the 13 week rule, new rights for young workers, inclusion of some previously excluded sectors, etc.) but in essence the key components of the 1998 regulations related to the following issues: Rights and Obligations Concerning Working Time (maximum weekly working time, agreement to exclude the maximum, length of night work, health assessment and transfer of night workers to day work, pattern of work, records, daily rest, weekly rest period, rest breaks, entitlement to annual leave, compensation related to entitlement to leave, dates on which leave is taken, payment in respect of periods of leave); Exceptions (excluded sectors, domestic service, unmeasured working time, other special cases, shift workers, collective and workforce agreements, compensatory rest, workers in the armed forces, young workers); Miscellaneous provisions (enforcement, offences, remedies, right not to suffer detriment, unfair dismissal, conciliation, restrictions on contracting out); and Special Classes of Person (Agency workers that are not otherwise “workers”, Crown employment, armed forces, police service, non-employed trainees and agricultural workers). As indicated above the 1998 regulations have been amended several times, however the OFMDFM website does not have the Working Time Regulations on its “Updated statutes of Northern Ireland” website, therefore it may be more appropriate for the user to go to the Department for Employment and Learning’s website.

1998 - Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) - Statutory Rule No. 386

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1998 C. 39 National Minimum Wage Act 1998

This Act sets out the framework for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and includes – entitlement to NMW, the Low Pay Commission, Records, Officers, Information, Enforcement, Civil procedure Evidence and Appeals, Conciliation, offences, Special Classes of Persons, Extensions, Exclusions, Agricultural Workers, Miscellaneous, Supplementary, and Schedules.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/39

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1999 - Employment-related Statutory Rules

Note in 1999 there were several employment-related Statutory Rules passed for Northern Ireland such as: Fair Employment and Treatment (1998 Order) (Commencement No. 1) Order, Health and Safety at Work (1998 Order) (Commencement) Order, Sex Discrimination (Code of Practice) Equal Pay Order, Working Time (Amendment) Regulations, Protection from Harassment (1997 Order) (Commencement No. 2) Order, Fair Employment (Monitoring) Regulations, Health and Safety (Modifications) Regulations, Agricultural Wages (1977 Order) (Amendment) Regulations, Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Commencement No. 6) Order, Disability Discrimination (Services and Premises) Regulations, Unfair Dismissal and Statement of Reasons for Dismissal (Variation of Qualifying Period) Order, Race Relations Code of Practice (Elimination of Discrimination in Employment) Order, Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations, Disability Discrimination Code of Practice (Goods, Facilities, Services and Premises) Order, Fair Employment Tribunal (Commencement No. 2) Order, Public Interest Disclosure (1998 Order) (Commencement) Order, Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order, Public Interest Disclosure (Compensation) Regulations, Disability Discrimination Code of Practice (Duties of Trade Organisations to their Disabled Members and Applicants) Order, Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government, etc.) (Modification) Order, Fair Employment (Specification of Public Authorities) (Amendment) Order, Fair Employment Tribunal (Rules of Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations, Employment Relations (1999 Order) (Commencement No. 1 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order, Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations.

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1999 - No. 2790 (NI 9) The Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order is perhaps equal in terms of relevance and importance to the employee with regard to employment rights as the Employment Rights Order 1996. It is a lengthy document covering a multitude of issues such as: Trade Unions (recognition and collective bargaining, detriments related to union membership, blacklists, ballots, notices, training and unfair dismissal connected with recognition). The Order goes on to address: Leave for family reasons, etc.  The Order then addresses the issues of Disciplinary and grievance hearings (including the right to be accompanied which only came into effect in Northern Ireland on 2 June 2002, complaints to industrial tribunals, detriment and dismissal, the interpretation, contracting out and conciliation, national security employees). The Order also addresses Other rights of individuals (unfair dismissal of striking workers, collective agreements, agreement to exclude dismissal rights, part-time worker discrimination and codes of practice); the role and function of the Industrial Court, the LRA, Commissioners and Certification Officer. The Order also covers, for example, employment agencies, employment outside Northern Ireland, special awards for unfair dismissal, guarantee payments, compensatory awards and transfer of undertakings.

No.2790 (NI9) The Employment Relations (NI) Order:

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1999 - No. 661 (NI 5) The Trade Union Subscription Deductions (Northern Ireland) Order

This Order makes amendments to both the Employment Rights Order and the Trade Union and Labour Relations Order and specifically deals with the area of check-off arrangements for union subscriptions in terms of: the right not to suffer deduction of unauthorised subscriptions and transitional arrangements.

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