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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

CHAPTER IRIGHTS NOT TO SUFFER DETRIMENT

Health and safety cases

68.—(1) An employee has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, by his employer done on the ground that—

(a)having been designated by the employer to carry out activities in connection with preventing or reducing risks to health and safety at work, the employee carried out (or proposed to carry out) any such activities,

(b)being a representative of workers on matters of health and safety at work or member of a safety committee—

(i)in accordance with arrangements established under or by virtue of any statutory provision, or

(ii)by reason of being acknowledged as such by the employer,

the employee performed (or proposed to perform) any functions as such a representative or a member of such a committee,

(c)being an employee at a place where—

(i)there was no such representative or safety committee, or

(ii)there was such a representative or safety committee but it was not reasonably practicable for the employee to raise the matter by those means,

he brought to his employer’s attention, by reasonable means, circumstances connected with his work which he reasonably believed were harmful or potentially harmful to health or safety,

(d)in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent and which he could not reasonably have been expected to avert, he left (or proposed to leave) or (while the danger persisted) refused to return to, his place of work or any dangerous part of his place of work, or

(e)in circumstances of danger which the employee reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, he took (or proposed to take) appropriate steps to protect himself or other persons from the danger.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(e) whether steps which an employee took (or proposed to take) were appropriate is to be judged by reference to all the circumstances including, in particular, his knowledge and the facilities and advice available to him at the time.

(3) An employee is not to be regarded as having been subjected to any detriment on the ground specified in paragraph (1)(e) if the employer shows that it was (or would have been) so negligent for the employee to take the steps which he took (or proposed to take) that a reasonable employer might have treated him as the employer did.

(4) Except where an employee is dismissed in circumstances in which, by virtue of Article 240, Part XI does not apply to the dismissal, this Article does not apply where the detriment in question amounts to dismissal (within the meaning of that Part).

Trustees of occupational pension schemes

69.—(1) An employee has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, by his employer done on the ground that, being a trustee of a relevant occupational pension scheme which relates to his employment, the employee performed (or proposed to perform) any functions as such a trustee.

(2) Except where an employee is dismissed in circumstances in which, by virtue of Article 240, Part XI does not apply to the dismissal, this Article does not apply where the detriment in question amounts to dismissal (within the meaning of that Part).

(3) In this Article “relevant occupational pension scheme” means an occupational pension scheme (as defined in section 1 of the [1993 c. 49.] Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993) established under a trust.

Employee representatives

70.—(1) An employee has the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, by his employer done on the ground that, being—

(a)an employee representative for the purposes of Part XIII of this Order or Regulations 10 and 11 of the [S.I. 1981/1794.] Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981, or

(b)a candidate in an election in which any person elected will, on being elected, be such an employee representative,

he performed (or proposed to perform) any functions or activities as such an employee representative or candidate.

(2) Except where an employee is dismissed in circumstances in which, by virtue of Article 240, Part XI does not apply to the dismissal, this Article does not apply where the detriment in question amounts to a dismissal (within the meaning of that Part).

Complaints to industrial tribunals

71.—(1) An employee may present a complaint to an industrial tribunal that he has been subjected to a detriment in contravention of Article 68,69 or 70.

(2) On such a complaint it is for the employer to show the ground on which any act, or deliberate failure to act, was done.

(3) An industrial tribunal shall not consider a complaint under this Article unless it is presented—

(a)before the end of the period of three months beginning with the date of the act or failure to act to which the complaint relates or, where that act or failure is part of a series of similar acts or failures, the last of them, or

(b)within such further period as the tribunal considers reasonable in a case where it is satisfied that it was not reasonably practicable for the complaint to be presented before the end of that period of three months.

(4) For the purposes of paragraph (3)—

(a)where an act extends over a period, the “date of the act” means the last day of that period, and

(b)a deliberate failure to act shall be treated as done when it was decided on;

and, in the absence of evidence establishing the contrary, an employer shall be taken to decide on a failure to act when he does an act inconsistent with doing the failed act or, if he has done no such inconsistent act, when the period expires within which he might reasonably have been expected to do the failed act if it was to be done.

Remedies

72.—(1) Where an industrial tribunal finds a complaint under Article 71 well-founded, the tribunal—

(a)shall make a declaration to that effect, and

(b)may make an award of compensation to be paid by the employer to the complainant in respect of the act or failure to act to which the complaint relates.

(2) The amount of the compensation awarded shall be such as the tribunal considers just and equitable in all the circumstances having regard to—

(a)the infringement to which the complaint relates, and

(b)any loss which is attributable to the act, or failure to act, which infringed the complainant’s right.

(3) The loss shall be taken to include—

(a)any expenses reasonably incurred by the complainant in consequence of the act, or failure to act, to which the complaint relates, and

(b)loss of any benefit which he might reasonably be expected to have had but for that act or failure to act.

(4) In ascertaining the loss the tribunal shall apply the same rule concerning the duty of a person to mitigate his loss as applies to damages recoverable under the common law of Northern Ireland.

(5) Where the tribunal finds that the act, or failure to act, to which the complaint relates was to any extent caused or contributed to by action of the complainant, it shall reduce the amount of the compensation by such proportion as it considers just and equitable having regard to that finding. CHAPTER II

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