Economy Minister announces annual increase in limits for unfair dismissal and redundancy payments

Date published: 29 March 2024

Economy Minister Conor Murphy today announced an increase in the limits for payments and awards to workers in relation to certain employment rights.

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Taking effect from April 6, the limit on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal rises from £105,915 to £115,341. Also, the maximum amount for one week’s pay for the purpose of calculating redundancy payments rises from £669 to £729.

The increased limits relate to a range of employment rights including:

  • statutory redundancy payments;
  • the basic and compensatory awards for unfair dismissal;
  • the limit on guarantee payments made when employees are not provided with work; and
  • the minimum basic award for unfair dismissal in health and safety and certain other cases.

The Minister said:
“One of my leading priorities is to protect the rights and entitlements of workers and employees. This Order will ensure that if they find themselves in the unfortunate circumstances of receiving these types of payments or awards, they will be compensated fairly and that their rights will be protected by law.

“While the payments cannot undo the events that are the cause of them being made, it is my hope that the increased limits will go some way to help those entitled workers and employees at what is clearly a difficult time.”

Legislation adjusting limits relating to a range of employment rights is made annually to reflect changes in the rate of inflation as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI).

Notes to editors: 

1. Article 33 of the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 provides that the limits on various awards and payments under employment legislation will be index-linked, i.e. will be varied by Order if the Retail Prices Index (RPI) for September of a year is higher or lower than the index of the previous September.

2. The new limits reflect changes in the RPI between September 2022 and September 2023 (8.9% - source: ONS, all items RPI).

3. The Department for the Economy is legally required to make the up-rating Order and to bring the new limits into operation on 6 April 2024. The changes being made involve no changes to the structure of awards and other payments, or to employers’ management systems.

4. The Order, which contains a table showing the increase of limits from 6 April 2024, is available on the UK Legislation website. Details of limits will also be available on nibusinessinfo

5. Printed copies of the Rule may be purchased from The Stationery Office (TSO) or by contacting TSO Customer Services on 0333 202 5070.

6. To keep up to date with news from the Department you can follow us on the following social media channels:

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8. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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