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The Flexible Working Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

2015 No. 105

Employment

Work And Families

The Flexible Working Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

Made

2nd March 2015

Coming into operation

5th April 2015

The Department for Employment and Learning makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 112F(1)(b), (5) and 8(a), 112H(3)(b), 112I(3) and 251(6) of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996(1).

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Flexible Working Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 and shall come into operation on 5th April 2015.

(2) In these Regulations—

“the 1996 Order” means the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996;

“flexible working application” means an application made under Article 112F of the 1996 Order (statutory right to request a contract variation);

“the Procedure Regulations” means the Flexible Working (Procedural Requirements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003(2).

Application, revocation and saving

2.—(1) These Regulations apply to a flexible working application made on or after 5th April 2015.

(2) The Flexible Working (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003(3) are revoked but continue to apply to a flexible working application made before 5th April 2015.

Entitlement to make an application

3.  An employee who has been continuously employed(4) for a period of at least 26 weeks is entitled to make a flexible working application.

Form of application

4.  A flexible working application must—

(a)be in writing;

(b)state whether the employee has previously made any such application to the employer and, if so, when; and

(c)be dated.

Date when application is taken as made

5.—(1) A flexible working application is taken as made on the day it is received.

(2) Any such application is received, unless the contrary is proved—

(a)where paragraph (3) applies and the application is sent by electronic transmission, on the day of transmission;

(b)if sent by post, on the day on which it would have been delivered in the ordinary course of post; and

(c)if it is delivered personally, on the day of delivery.

(3) This paragraph applies where the employer has agreed that the application can be sent by electronic transmission and has specified an electronic address to which the application can be sent and the electronic form to be used by the employee.

Breaches of the Procedure Regulations by the employer entitling an employee to make a complaint to an industrial tribunal

6.  The breaches of the Procedure Regulations which entitle an employee to make a complaint to an industrial tribunal under Article 112H of the 1996 Order, notwithstanding the fact that his application has not been disposed of by agreement or withdrawn, are—

(a)failure to hold a meeting in accordance with regulation 3(1) or 8(1);

(b)failure to notify a decision in accordance with regulation 4 or 9.

Compensation

7.  For the purposes of Article 112I of the 1996 Order (remedies) the maximum amount of compensation is 8 weeks’ pay(5) of the employee who presented the complaint under Article 112H of the 1996 Order (complaints to industrial tribunals).

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Employment and Learning on 2nd March 2015.

Legal seal

Dr Stephen Farry

Minister for Employment and Learning

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations make provision for—

  • the condition as to the duration of employment which an employee must satisfy in order to make a flexible working application under Article 112F of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (S.I 1996/1919) (the “1996 Order”);

  • the form of any such application and when it is taken to be made;

  • the breaches of procedure which entitle an employee to make a complaint to an industrial tribunal; and

  • the maximum compensation that an industrial tribunal can award in relation to a complaint that an employer has failed to deal correctly with such an application.

Regulation 2 provides that these Regulations apply to any flexible working application made on or after 5th April 2015. The Flexible Working (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 (S.R 2003 No. 174) are revoked but continue to apply to any such application made before 5th April 2015.

Regulation 3 requires an employee to have 26 weeks of continuous employment in order to make a flexible working application. The provisions of Chapter 3 of Part 1 of the 1996 Order determine the computation of continuous employment.

Regulation 4 provides that the application must be in writing, must be dated and must state if any previous flexible working applications have been made and, if so, when.

Regulation 5 provides that a flexible working application is made on the day it is received. The regulation sets out how the day of receipt is determined.

Regulation 6 specifies which breaches of the Flexible Working (Procedural Requirements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 entitle the employee to make a complaint to an industrial tribunal notwithstanding the fact that his application has not been disposed of by agreement or withdrawn.

Regulation 7 provides that 8 weeks’ pay of the employee is the maximum compensation that an industrial tribunal can award if it finds a complaint made by the employee under Article 112H of the 1996 Order is well-founded. A week’s pay is calculated in accordance with Chapter 4 of Part 1 of the 1996 Order. A week’s pay is subject to a maximum limit as set out in Article 23 of that Order.

An impact assessment has not been prepared for these Regulations. These Regulations are part of a package of legislative measures and the relevant impacts were assessed within the document ‘Sharing parental rights, extending flexibility at work – public consultation’, published in May 2013 (www.delni.gov.uk/index/consultation-zone/archived-consultations/archived-consultations-2013/working-parents-rights.htm), and supplemented by a further publication in April 2014 (www.delni.gov.uk/index/publications/equality-good-relations/shared-parental-leave-and-pay.htm).

(1)

S.I. 1996/1919 (N.I. 16); Articles 112F, 112H and 112I were inserted by Article 15 of the Employment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 (S.I. 2002/2836 (N.I. 2)). Article 112F was amended by section 19 of the Work and Families Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 (c. 1 (N.I.).

(4)

Continuous employment is computed in accordance with Chapter 3 of Part 1 of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

(5)

A week’s pay is calculated in accordance with Chapter 4 of Part 1 of the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

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