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The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Restrictions on contracting out

245.—(1) Any provision in an agreement (whether a contract of employment or not) is void in so far as it purports—

(a)to exclude or limit the operation of any provision of this Order, or

(b)to preclude a person from bringing any proceedings under this Order before an industrial tribunal.

(2) Paragraph (1)—

(a)does not apply to any provision in a collective agreement excluding rights under Article 60 if an order under Article 67 is for the time being in force in respect of it,

(b)does not apply to any provision in a dismissal procedures agreement excluding the right under Article 126 if that provision is not to have effect unless an order under Article 142 is for the time being in force in respect of it,

(c)does not apply to any provision in an agreement if an order under Article 192 is for the time being in force in respect of it,

(d)does not apply to any provision of an agreement relating to dismissal from employment such as is mentioned in Article 240(1) or (3),

(e)does not apply to any agreement to refrain from instituting or continuing proceedings where the Agency has taken action under Article 20 of the Industrial Tribunals (Northern Ireland) Order 1996, and

(f)does not apply to any agreement to refrain from instituting or continuing before an industrial tribunal any proceedings within Article 20(1)(c) (proceedings under this Order where conciliation available) of the Industrial Tribunals (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 if the conditions regulating compromise agreements under this Order are satisfied in relation to the agreement, and

(g)does not apply to any provision of a collective agreement excluding rights under Part XIII if an order under Article 226 is in force in respect of it.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (2)(f) the conditions regulating compromise agreements under this Order are that—

(a)the agreement must be in writing,

(b)the agreement must relate to the particular complaint,

(c)the employee or worker must have received independent legal advice from a qualified lawyer as to the terms and effect of the proposed agreement and, in particular, its effect on his ability to pursue his rights before an industrial tribunal.

(d)there must be in force, when the adviser gives the advice, a policy of insurance covering the risk of a claim by the employee or worker in respect of loss arising in consequence of the advice,

(e)the agreement must identify the adviser, and

(f)the agreement must state that the conditions regulating compromise agreements under this Order are satisfied.

(4) In paragraph (3)—

  • “independent”, in relation to legal advice received by an employee or worker, means that the advice is given by a lawyer who is not acting in the matter for the employer or an associated employer, and

  • “qualified lawyer” means a barrister (whether in practice as such or employed to give legal advice), or a solicitor who holds a practising certificate.

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