Posts from the ‘Employment’ Category
Redundancies & compromise agreements…
As a result of the current economic climate, the last few years have seen a sharp rise in redundancies. Only last week Ulster Bank Limited announced that they will be making a further 350 redundancies in Northern Ireland – see here for the story.
The rise in redundancies has in turn seen an increase in the number of people who need advice on a compromise agreement. Employers are increasingly using compromise agreements, especially in a redundancy situation, to avoid any potential future litigation as a result of bringing the employment to an end by offering some sort of financial settlement in return for the employee agreeing not to sue. It can be daunting when handed a legal document by an employer that looks complicated and full of legal jargon. Plus, if you’re being asked to enter into a compromise agreement, you’ll need to get advice from an independent solicitor to explain what the document means if it is to become legally binding. So what is a compromise agreement? Read more
The annual increase in Tribunal compensation limits and new rates of benefits…
Industrial Tribunal compensation limits
The annual increase in Tribunal compensation limits will take effect for dismissals occurring on or after 1 February 2012. The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £68,400 to £72,300, and the maximum amount of a week’s pay (for calculating the unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy pay) will increase from £400 to £430 per week.
Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay and statutory sick pay
On 9 April 2012, the lower rate of statutory maternity pay, and the rates of statutory adoption, paternity and additional paternity pay, will increase from £128.73 per week to £135.45 per week. Statutory sick pay will increase from £81.60 to £85.85 per week.
The London 2012 Olympics – your employees may be getting ready, are you?
The 2012 Olympics are six months away and employers are encouraged to start planning now for possible disruptions. Recent surveys indicate that up to one in six of the UK’s employees is planning on pulling a “sickie” to watch the Olympics on television. That includes employees in Northern Ireland. What then can employers do now to try to avoid any potential disruption? Read more
The Agency Workers Regulations (NI) 2011 will come into force on 5 December 2011
Further to our post on ‘New rights to be given to agency workers in Northern Ireland’, the Agency Workers Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 have now been published and will come into force on 5th December 2011.
Now is the time to consider the regulations and how they might affect your business. Thompsons Solicitors can provide advice on the Regulations tailored to your particular circumstances. Please contact us for further information.
New rights to be given to agency workers in Northern Ireland…
The Department for Employment and Learning has confirmed that temporary agency workers in Northern Ireland will be given important new rights under the EU Agency Workers Directive – see link.
The Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, has indicated the Department will bring the necessary legislation into effect by 5 December 2011.
It is likely the legislation will largely mirror the English equivalent, the Agency Worker Regulations 2010, which come into operation in England and Wales on 1 October 2011. Those Regulations give temps and agency workers some of the same rights as full-time staff from their first day on the job. After 12 weeks in the same job, as indicated by the Minister, the new regulations will grant temps the same pay and overtime rates as your permanent employees, as well as paid holiday.
It is estimated that one half of temp assignments are longer than 12 weeks, and the Department’s own website indicates there are some 22,000 temporary agency workers in Northern Ireland. That means a considerable number of businesses in Northern Ireland will be affected.
So, if you employ temps for more than 12 weeks at a time, are there any steps you can take to prepare before 5 December 2011? Read more