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Termination of employment: key differences in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Updating author: Max Winthrop, consultant editor (Scotland): Gillian MacLellan, consultant editor (Northern Ireland): Andrew Spratt

Future developments

Northern Ireland: The Employment Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 will introduce various reforms to align some of the employment laws in Northern Ireland with Great Britain, including provisions on public interest disclosures (see Public interest disclosures > Key differences in Scotland and Northern Ireland > Future developments for further information). However, the Act does not, as had previously been anticipated, contain provisions to align the qualification period for unfair dismissal in Northern Ireland with that in England, Wales and Scotland, by increasing it from one year to two years.

To date, there has been no announcement of an increase in limits to employment tribunal awards and other amounts payable under employment legislation, for 2017.

Scotland: On 31 March 2017, the Scottish Government published a consultation: A severance policy for Scotland. The consultation is seeking views on whether or not the rules surrounding exit payments in the devolved public sector in Scotland should be reformed, "in particular through the introduction of an exit payment cap, recovery of exit payments and changing exit payment terms". The consultation follows the UK Government's commitment to introduce various reforms to public-sector exit payments, including a cap of £95,000 and repayment obligations in certain circumstances (see Termination of employment > Final payments > Future developments for further information).