Round Up: Key Employment Law Developments in Northern Ireland 2019

Posted in : Supplementary Articles NI on 15 January 2020
Legal Island
Legal Island
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There may have been no Stormont Assembly and not much effective government in London for that matter throughout 2019 but it was still a big year for employment developments. Here are the big stories we think are worth returning to that should matter to most employers in Northern Ireland.

2019 was the year that:

The calculation of holiday pay took a very expensive turn for NI employers in 2019.  The Agnew v PSNI holiday pay case and other holiday matters were discussed in detail in our webinar series and beyond.

The duty to make reasonable adjustments became more obvious during recruitment processes, particularly for neurodiverse applicants following the British Telecommunications Plc v Meier [2019] case.

The Supreme Court provided much welcome guidance for employer in non-compete contractual terms.

The EAT confirmed that employers must take care when dismissing an employee for covertly recording a disciplinary meeting.

A full beard has once again become a desirable aesthetic feature for a lot of men and employers were warned to review their uniform policies to ensure they do not discriminate following the decision in Gordon Downey v Garrath McCreery & Chief Constable of PSNI [2018].

Everyone loves a good head, neck and shoulders massage, but care should be taken that this is not interpreted as unwanted sexual harassment.

Record keeping for Working Time compliance came under scrutiny by the CJEU. Keep proper and adequate records or face back-pay claims.

The Court of Appeal confirmed that enhancing maternity pay does not discriminate against fathers.

We found out that Early Conciliation will be put in place from 27th January 2020. From that date, claims to employment tribunals will be barred unless LRA conciliation is first considered.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission in GB provided guidance on the use of confidentiality agreements in discrimination cases – advice that is largely applicable in NI.

We found out that the UK’s disability pay gap is 12.2 per cent but NI has the second-narrowest pay gap of the regions. Given that our legislation has been sitting around for three years and GB is coming up to its third year of reporting, we suspect we won’t be second bottom for long.

We also had a very busy year at Legal Island with the launch of the new Diversity and Inclusion Charter Mark. We also recorded many hours of podcasts by Clarendon Executive, Back to Basics videos with A&L Goodbody and a variety of webinars, if that is how you prefer to learn. Listen back facilities and full transcripts are available to subscribers.


This article is correct at 15/01/2020

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.

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