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24.—(1) In a case where P is dismissed, P is entitled under Article 131 of the 1996 Order(1) to be regarded for the purpose of Part 11 of that Order as unfairly dismissed if—
(a)the reason or principal reason for the dismissal is of a kind specified in paragraph (3), or
(b)the reason or principal reason for the dismissal is that P is redundant and regulation 18 has not been complied with.
(2) In a case where P is dismissed, P shall also be regarded for the purposes of Part 11 of the 1996 Order as unfairly dismissed if—
(a)the reason (or, if more than one, the principal reason) for the dismissal is that P was redundant,
(b)it is shown that the circumstances constituting the redundancy applied equally to one or more employees in the same undertaking who had positions similar to that held by P and who have not been dismissed by E, and
(c)it is shown that the reason (or if more than one, the principal reason) for which P was selected for dismissal was a reason of a kind specified in paragraph (3).
(3) The kinds of reason referred to in paragraph (1) and (2) are reasons connected with any of the following facts—
(a)that P took, sought to take, or made use of, the benefits of additional paternity leave;
(b)that E believed that P was likely to take additional paternity leave;
(c)that P failed to return after a period of additional paternity leave in a case where—
(i)E did not notify P, in accordance with regulations 8, 8 as modified by regulation 10, or otherwise, of the date on which that period ended, and P reasonably believed that the period had not ended, or
(ii)that E gave P less than 28 days’ notice of the date on which the period would end, and it was not reasonably practicable for P to return on that date; or
(d)that P undertook, considered undertaking or refused to undertake work in accordance with regulation 16.
(4) For the purposes of paragraph (3)(a), P makes use of the benefits of additional paternity leave if, during P’s additional paternity leave period, P benefits from any of the terms and conditions of P’s employment preserved by Article 112C of the 1996 Order and regulation 17 during that period.
(5) Paragraph (1) does not apply in relation to P if—
(a)it is not reasonably practicable for a reason other than redundancy for E (who may be E or E’s successor) to permit P to return to a job which is both suitable for P and appropriate for P to do in the circumstances,
(b)an associated employer offers P a job of that kind, and
(c)P accepts or unreasonably refuses that offer.
(6) Where, on a complaint of unfair dismissal, any question arises as to whether the operation of paragraph (1) is excluded by the provisions of paragraph (5), it is for E to show that the provision in question was satisfied in relation to the complainant.
Article 131 was substituted by the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999, Schedule 4, Part 3, paragraph 8, and amended by the Employment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002, Schedule 2, paragraphs 13 and 14 and by the Work and Families (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, Schedule 1, paragraph 40.
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