NI Employment Law: What we learned last quarter (Q2 2020)

Posted in : Supplementary Articles NI on 8 July 2020
Legal Island
Legal Island
Issues covered: Coronavirus; Minimum Wage; Diversity & Inclusion; Parental Bereavement

Every three months we update you with some of the key developments in employment law and practice affecting the Northern Ireland workplace in that quarter.

You’ll find many more learning points on our Northern Ireland Employment Law Hub but, if you don’t have time to research every item, here are 10 useful pearls of wisdom this quarter - click on the links below to further your knowledge:

  1. Not surprisingly, there was lots about the Coronavirus Pandemic this quarter and we have a wide range of resources to help from articles to webinar recordings which are all available in our Coronavirus hub.

  2. In vicarious liability matters two notable cases were published last quarter, including the Supreme Court decision in the well-known Morrisons data protection/vicarious liability case, in which the Court concluded that the online disclosure of data was not part of the employee’s “field of activities”; and in Barclays Bank plc v Various Claimants the Supreme Court held that the bank was not vicariously liable for any wrongdoing of an occupational health doctor in the course of the medical examinations he carried out on the Bank's employees.  

  3. The Vento Bands for awards of injury to feelings in discrimination cases were increased.

  4. HMRC has published updated guidance on calculating the minimum wage, to help employers meet the requirements of the updated National Minimum Wage legislation.

  5. The annual increase of limits legislation took effect from the 5/6th April and we have a handy table to highlight the changes. 

  6. The Diversity and Inclusion Forum continued to grow and develop as Barry Phillips, CEO Legal Island, facilitates a range of challenging and thought provoking D&I topics. You can register for the forum here.

  7. Research was published by the Nevin Economic Research Institute which showed that while the role of trade unions in determining pay has diminished over the last three decades in most developed economies, collective bargaining results in a 13% premium in pay for union members in NI over non-unionised workplaces.

  8. The President of the Industrial Tribunals and Fair Employment Tribunals directed that as the Tribunals’ building remains closed and, pending the completion of preparations for remote hearings, all Final Hearings and Preliminary Hearings to determine matters such as jurisdictional issues or whether a deposit order should be made, which are currently listed from 1 July 2020 to 30 October 2020, are now postponed with immediate effect on foot of this Presidential Direction.

  9. In Equality News the Equality Commission published guidance on an employer's legal obligations in relation to provisions for disabled employees returning to the workplace following lockdown.

  10. Economy Minister Diane Dodds announced the launch of a two-month Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay consultation, which follows the recent introduction of parental bereavement leave and pay legislation in Great Britain.


This article is correct at 08/07/2020

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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