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The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1993

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Right to offer of alternative work

27.—(1) Where an employer has available suitable alternative work for an employee the employee has a right to be offered to be provided with it before being suspended on maternity grounds.

(2) For alternative work to be suitable for an employee for the purposes of this Article—

(a)the work must be of a kind which is both suitable in relation to her and appropriate for her to do in the circumstances; and

(b)the terms and conditions applicable to her for performing the work, if they differ from the corresponding terms and conditions applicable to her for performing the work she normally performs under her contract of employment, must not be substantially less favourable to her than those corresponding terms and conditions.

(3) An employee may present a complaint to an industrial tribunal that her employer has failed to offer to provide her with work in contravention of paragraph (1).

(4) An industrial tribunal shall not entertain a complaint under paragraph (3) unless it is presented to the tribunal before the end of the period of three months beginning with the first day of the suspension, or 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 within the period of three months.

(5) Where the tribunal finds the complaint well-founded it may make an award of compensation to be paid by the employer to the employee.

(6) The amount of the compensation shall be such as the tribunal considers just and equitable in all the circumstances having regard to the infringement of the complainant’s right under paragraph (1) by the employer’s failure complained of and to any loss sustained by the complainant which is attributable to that failure.

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