Northern Ireland employment law
Produced in partnership with Paul Gillen of Pinsent Masons

The following Employment practice note produced in partnership with Paul Gillen of Pinsent Masons provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Northern Ireland employment law
  • Devolution
  • Main areas of difference
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment and neutral environments
  • Discrimination questionnaires
  • Troubles-related convictions
  • Age discrimination
  • Sex
  • Civil partnership and marriage
  • More...

Northern Ireland employment law

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note does not cover employment issues relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Northern Ireland. Subscribers are referred to the nidirect website for further information and guidance.

Employment law in Northern Ireland has, for many years, followed the same laws as apply in the other jurisdictions of Great Britain. Although a separate legal jurisdiction, government policy in Northern Ireland was that laws in Great Britain could be directly applicable (for example the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA 1995) or the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998)) or that they would follow along the same lines as legislation applicable in Great Britain, albeit with some small differences (for example the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) in Great Britain was followed by the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996, albeit with some differences).

The only major divergence from the policy of following the Great Britain approach to employment law was discrimination on grounds of religious belief and political opinion.

Most of the legislation passed in Great Britain was enacted in Northern Ireland, but at times there was a delay, which could be a matter of weeks, months or even years. For example, the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order was passed in 1997, whereas in Great Britain the Race Relations Act 1976 commenced in that year.

There is some legislation

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