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Employment Act (Northern Ireland) 2016


Section 22: Indexation of amounts: timing and rounding

This section amends Article 33(2) and (3) of the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (“ERO 1999”) by setting a time for orders made under that Article to come into operation and amending the calculation which is to be used to increase or decrease the relevant limits.

Article 33(2) of the ERO 1999 provides that, if the Retail Prices Index (RPI) for September of a year is higher or lower than the RPI for the previous September, the Department is required to make an order to increase or decrease the limits which apply to certain IT awards and other amounts payable under employment legislation.

The list of sums to be increased or decreased as a result of a change in the RPI is set out in Article 33(1) of the ERO 1999. The sums for the relevant payments and awards are revised by order annually under the ERO 1999. Section 22 amends Article 33(2) so that future changes to the relevant limits are to be made on 6th April each year rather than (as currently) as soon as practicable. All limits remain linked to the RPI.

Section 22 also changes the rounding calculation set out in Article 33(3) of the ERO 1999 so that all limits are rounded up or down to the nearest pound.

Additionally, a new paragraph (7) is added to Article 33 specifying that the Department may at any time make an order increasing or decreasing sums dealt with under Article 33. Such an order would need to be laid in draft before, and approved by, the Assembly before becoming operational. Provision is made that if such an order is made, it can obviate the need for the normal annual revision of limits in line with the RPI.

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