Under provisions in Article 33 of the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999, if the Retail Prices Index (RPI) for September of a year is higher (or lower) than the index for the previous September, the Department for the Economy is required to pass legislation in the form of an Order.

The effect of this is to change the limits that apply to certain awards made by Industrial Tribunals, the Fair Employment Tribunal or as a result of arbitration by the Labour Relations Agency.  These are awarded under either:

  • The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (1995 Order), or
  • The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (1996 Order)

On 26 March 2019, the Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order (Northern Ireland) 2019 was published by the Department for the Economy.  This was followed by a press release on 28 March 2019.

The headline notes of this legislation, effective 06 April 2019, are:

  • The daily amount of guarantee payment increases from £28 to £29
  • The value of ‘a week’s pay’ increases from £530 to £547 per week
  • The maximum compensatory award in unfair dismissal claims increases from £83,847 to £86,614.
  • These do not apply in Great Britain

The following are the revised increases that apply where the event giving rise to the compensation entitlement occurs on or after 06 April 2019 (courtesy of The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) (Northern Ireland) Order 2019) above:

Statutory Provision                                                 Effective: 06 April 2018 06 April 2019
Minimum compensation awarded by the Industrial Tribunal for exclusion or expulsion from a trade union (1995 Order) £9,663 £9,982
Maximum amount of ‘a week’s pay’ for basic or additional awards of compensation for unfair dismissal or redundancy payment (1996 Order) £530 £547
Limit on daily amount of guarantee payment (1996 Order) £28 £29
Award for unlawful inducement relating to union membership or activities, or to collective bargaining (1996 Order) £4,260 £4,401
Minimum basic award for unfair dismissal or selection for redundancy on grounds related to health and safety, union membership or activities, or a trustee of an occupational pension scheme (1996 Order) £6,442 £6,655
Limit on amount of compensatory award for unfair dismissal (1996 Order) £83,847 £86,614
Limit on weekly amount payable from the Northern Ireland National Insurance Fund to the employee in respect of insolvency of the employer (1996 Order) £530 £547


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