Lyons announces annual increase in limits for unfair dismissal and redundancy payments

Date published: 13 May 2022

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today announced an increase in the limits for payments and awards to workers in employment rights cases.

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons

Taking effect from April 6, the limit on the compensatory award for unfair dismissal rises from £89,669 to £94,063. Also, the maximum amount of ‘a week’s pay’ for the purpose of calculating redundancy payments rises from £566 to £594.

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:

“In the unfortunate event that workers find themselves in the position of receiving these types of payments or awards, I want to assure them that they will be calculated appropriately and that this is protected by law.

“These increased limits will go some way to help people who are entitled to such payments at what is a difficult time for them.”

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 2020 and September 2021 (4.9% - 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 2022. The changes being made involve no changes to the structure of awards and other payments, or to employers’ management systems.

4. Amendments contained within the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 made limits applicable in Great Britain subject to increase on a fixed date (6 April annually) and a different method of rounding. Corresponding amendments in respect of Northern Ireland, contained within section 22 of the Employment Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 (“the 2016 Act”), were commenced in 2018. Consequently limits in Northern Ireland have diverged slightly from those applicable in GB. Section 22 of the 2016 Act also contains an amending provision that will allow this divergence to be addressed, if there is agreement to do so, in the future.

5. The Order, which contains a table showing the increase in limits from 6 April 2022, will be available to view online at website Details of limits will also be available at nibusinessinfo website

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

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