Welcome to the Labour Relations Agency’s employment legislation link pages. We have attempted to collate all relevant employment legislation (Primary and Secondary) on these pages for our users’ ease of reference. Essentially users will get a brief summary of the content of the legislation and then a link to the www.legislation.gov.uk website delivered by the National Archives via www.nationalarchives.gov.uk.
By way of summary explanation this section of the website lists by year based index all relevant employment related Acts of Parliament - An Act of Parliament creates a new law or changes an existing law. An Act is a Bill approved by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and formally agreed to by the reigning monarch (known as Royal Assent). Once implemented, an Act is law and applies to the UK as a whole or to specific areas of the country. An example would be the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) which is UK wide.
In Northern Ireland employment law is a devolved matter and as such we can have an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly which only relates to this jurisdiction, for example, The Work and Families (Northern Ireland) Act 2015. As with Parliament the process begins with a Bill and has a passage of legislation (see below and for more detail http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/assembly-business/legislation/ )
However, the vast majority of employment law (which is a matter devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly) in Northern Ireland is derived from Statutory Rules which are a form of Delegated Legislation. These Statutory Rules are made to bring subordinate legislation law. Primary legislation (Acts) provides the powers to make subordinate legislation in the form of Statutory Rules (Regulations, Rules, Order and Bye-laws).
In general terms primary legislation provides the framework and subordinate legislation contains the details. As primary legislation takes up Assembly time, changes and amendments to the content of various legal measures can be made more quickly by the subordinate legislation process.
The amount of employment related Statutory Rules passed in Northern Ireland in a year can vary significantly for example there were 6 in 2009 but there were 32 in 2015.
Users who are looking to find Primary Legislation (either an Act of Parliament or an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly) should click on the box below entitled Index of Employment Related Statutes for Northern Ireland which is divided into 5 boxes which are date based and in chronological order, for example 1871-1976, 1977-1994, 1995-1999, 2000-2007, 2008-2016.
Users who are looking to find Delegated Legislation, primarily in the form of a Statutory Rule, should go to the relevant year in the year-based boxes listed below for an employment related Statutory Rule passed between 1996 and 2016, for example a popular search for an employment related piece of delegated legislation would be The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisi/1996/1919/contents.
If you do not know the year of the relevant legislation you can do a general search using the title/ relevant words here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/.
Employment law is a complicated field and there are now significant differences between Northern Ireland and Great Britain (click here... for GB v NI page) and it can often be difficult to determine what the legislation is, for example, An Act of the NI Assembly, an Order in Council, a Statutory Instrument, a Regulation, a Statutory Rule, an Act of Parliament, a Regulation etc. Thus, in many cases a general search can provide a quick answer and tips such as looking at the geographical extent column on the legislation page will show you if an Act of Parliament applies in Northern Ireland or not.
It should be noted that amendments are constantly being made and as such Acts can be subject to frequent amendment. Users should take note when going to the relevant pages there may be highlighting note which states: Changes to legislation – There are outstanding changes not yet made by the Legislation.gov.uk editorial team to this legislation. Those changes will be listed when you open the content using the Table of Contents method. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and will be annotated.
Please note the Labour Relations Agency cannot be held responsible for the contents of external websites and links.
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.