In Brief: Important Updates from March 2019Posted in : Supplementary Articles NI on 1 April 2019 Issues covered:
A number of useful articles and interesting case law reviews were added to the Northern Ireland Employment Law Hub throughout the month of March. Here is a quick recap of some of the recent developments within the employment law sphere:
Increase in Limits for NI
The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order (Northern Ireland) 2019 will come into operation on 6th April 2019. Amendments include an increase of the maximum amount of “a week’s pay” for the purpose of calculating a redundancy payment or for various awards including the basic or additional award of compensation for unfair dismissal from £530 to £547.
Contractual or Discretionary? Considerations when drafting Employment Benefits policies.
In her latest article Kiera Lee, Director in Mills Selig, considers various drafting considerations for employers when providing benefits, such as bonuses or medical insurance to their employees.
Brexit Conversations – how do I handle it?
In this article Jack Balmer, Associate Solicitor at Tughans, offers advice on how to handle situations where conversations around Brexit become heated and cross the line into inappropriate conduct.
First Tuesday Q&A
What happens to her entitlement if she ceases to work for the employer either before or during her period of maternity leave? The answer to this and other key questions are answered by Johanna Cunningham from Arthur Cox in our First Tuesday section.
National Minimum Wage update
The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2019 have been published online.
These Regulations amend the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 (“the 2015 Regulations”). These Regulations come into force on 1st April 2019.
Disability Passport Launched
The GMB and the TUC are launching a new disability passport to help the nearly 1 million (946,010) disabled people who fall out of work or switch employers each year to get the support they need. They have produced a model reasonable adjustments employer agreement, for reps to agree with their employer, and a template reasonable adjustments passport, to capture what adjustments have been put in place to eliminate barriers in the workplace.
Case Law Reviews
We reviewed a number of interesting cases this month. Click on the case titles below to read the full review article.
Cresco Investigation v Markus Achatzi C-193/17
In this case the CJEU had to consider whether a provision of Austrian National Law known as the ARG, which provides that Good Friday is a paid public holiday for members of certain Christian Churches only, constituted discrimination against other employees on the basis of their (differing) religious affiliation or lack thereof.
North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust v Gregg 
The Court of Appeal in this case, saw no obvious reason why an employer must halt their own internal disciplinary procedures when a concurrent police investigation is ongoing.
London Borough of Lambeth v Agoreyo 
The Court of Appeal has overturned the High Court's decision on this case, which involved the resignation of a teacher, following her suspension pending investigation over allegations of using unreasonable force against two children. The High Court had ruled that suspension was not a neutral act.
Benavides v Britannia Services Group Limited  (Case Number: 2208186/2016)
A Claimant who was dismissed for organising and participating in a 200-person protest outside the Respondent’s premises was found to have been unfairly dismissed for participating in Trade Union Activities. While the respondent argued that ‘large scale public direct-action protests’ cannot come within the scope of a union’s ‘typical activities,’ the tribunal disagreed.
The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.