Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2023
ANNUAL INCREASE OF LIMITS
The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order (Northern Ireland) 2023 announcing the annual increase in limits was published on 24 March 2023.
The equivalent in Great Britain is the Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2023.
The Order sets out the annual increases that apply to compensation awards of the Industrial Tribunal and Fair Employment Tribunal.
The new limits will come into force in Northern Ireland (and Great Britain) from 06 April 2023.
It is important to note that there are some differences between the rates in Northern Ireland and Great Britain. For ease of reference, the new equivalent figures for Great Britain are set out in square brackets.
The increases include:
- Maximum amount of a Week’s Pay (for the purposes of calculating a redundancy payment and basic award or additional award for unfair dismissal) increases from £594 to £669 [GB: £643]
- Limit on amount of Compensatory Award for unfair dismissal increases from £94.063 to £105,915 [GB: £105,707]
- Limit on amount of Guarantee Payment for a workless day increases from £31 to £35 [GB: also £35]
The effect is that, if you are found to have dismissed unfairly (for any dismissal taking place after 06 April 2023) it will be more expensive.
National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage Rates Increases from 01 April 2023
All minimum wage rates increase on 01 April of each year. This includes all National Minimum Wage rates and the National Living Wage rate. The new National Minimum Wage (for those aged 16 to 22) and National Living Wage (for those aged 23 and over) rates apply to eligible workers in Northern Ireland from 01 April 2023.
The table below sets out the current minimum wage rates and the new rates as of April 2023:
|Rate from April 2023||Current Rate (April 2022 to March 2023)||Annual increase (£)|
|National Living Wage||£10.42||£9.50||£0.92|
|21-22 year old rate||£10.18||£9.18||£1.00
|18-20 year old rate||£7.49||£6.83||£0.66
|16-17 year old rate||£5.28||£4.81||£0.47
Increases to Statutory Pay
Then The Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order (Northern Ireland) 2023 sets out increase that will apply to the statutory payments paid by businesses as follows.
From 2 April 2023, statutory family leave, which encompasses Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP), Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP), Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) and Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP), the weekly rates will increase to £172.48 per week (from £156.66).
From 6 April 2023, Statutory Sick Pay will increase from £99.35 to £109.40 effective from
The Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2023 has now been published setting to the new rates for statutory payments that will apply from 10 April 2023. These benefits are in relation to Carer’s Allowance, universal credit.
Vento Bands Increase
There has been a sixth addendum to Presidential Guidance on Employment Tribunal awards for injury to feelings and psychiatric injury following the case of De Souza v Vinci Construction (UK) Ltd  EWCA Civ 879.
This Sixth Addendum updates, but does not otherwise replace, the Presidential Guidance originally issued on 5 September 2017 and the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Addenda subsequently issued on 23 March 2018, 25 March 2019, 27 March 2020, 26 March 2021 and 28 March 2022, which remain relevant to claims presented before 6 April 2023. The Sixth Addendum takes into account changes in the RPI All Items Index released on 22 March 2023.
In respect of claims presented on or after 6 April 2023, the “Vento bands” shall be as follows:
- Lower band of £1,100 to £11,200 (less serious cases)
- Middle band of £11,200 to £33,700 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band)
- Upper band of £33,700 to £56,200 (the most serious cases), with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £56,200.
In respect of claims presented in Scotland, the bands remain subject to paragraph 12 of the original Presidential Guidance.
If members have any queries about the increases, please do not hesitate to contact the Legal Team at firstname.lastname@example.org