Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Ulster bosses hit by complex sacking laws

Employers in Northern Ireland are losing out because of complex dismissal laws, legal experts claimed today.

Managers have faced four years of confusion and extra cost because of the procedures, which are not followed in Great Britain, Legal Island said.

A failure by an unsuspecting local employer to adhere to dismissal or grievance procedures could lead to a 50% increase in any tribunal award the employee receives. Breaches could include not holding a meeting quickly enough.

Head of training at Legal Island Scott Alexander said: "These 1-2-3 procedures, as they are known, are the bane of employers and employees alike.

"They are very complex and even minor failures in following the procedures can lead to an increase or decrease in compensation of up to 50%."

In Great Britain the statutory rules were abolished on April 6 and replaced with a discretionary code of practice. It could be 2011 or 2012 before similar changes take place in Northern Ireland, Mr Alexander added.