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Employment Law in the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is a Crown dependency of the United Kingdom (UK) (though not itself part of the UK). It is self-governing and has its own independent legislature (the Tynwald), government and legal and judicial systems. The UK is largely responsible for the Isle of Man’s international relations. The Isle of Man is part of a Common Travel Area with the UK, Ireland and other Crown dependencies (Guernsey and Jersey), with few immigration controls between these territories.

The main item of employment legislation is the Employment Act 2006, which notably deals with written statements of terms of employment; itemised pay statements; payment of wages; time off work; protected disclosures; maternity, adoption, paternity and parental leave; flexible working; disciplinary and grievance hearings; notice periods and unfair dismissal. The other main employment-related laws are the:

  • Equality Act 2017

  • Minimum Wage Act 2001

  • Redundancy Payments Act 1990

  • UK Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 (as applied to the Isle of Man by the Health and Safety at Work Order 1998)

  • Trade Unions Act 1991

  • Trade Disputes Act 1985

  • Trade Disputes (Regulation) Act 1936

  • Shops Act 2000

  • Employment Agencies Act 1975

  • Control of Employment Act 2014

  • Data Protection Act 2018

  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 2001.

Governmental regulations and Orders govern the implementation of certain aspects of the laws mentioned above, eg in respect of annual leave, maternity leave, equal treatment for part-time workers and the management of health and safety. The Employment Act empowers the Government to make regulations in a number of additional areas — notably working time and rest breaks/periods, which are not currently subject to statutory regulation — but it has not yet done so.

Officially approved Codes of Practice based on legislation play a part in areas such as disciplinary and grievance procedures, equality in employment and trade union recognition: while these Codes are not legally binding, their provisions are taken into account in proceedings over relevant matters at the Employment and Equality Tribunal.

The other main sources of employment law are common law, case law and employment contracts. Collective agreements also play a role, but mainly in the public sector.

Employment Law in the Isle of Man: Quick Facts
  • Employers must generally obtain a work permit to employ individuals who are not classified as “Isle of Man workers”, though certain jobs are exempt from this rule. Recruitment and Selection

  • Employees are covered by all the rights and protections set out in employment legislation, while a more broadly defined category of “workers” have rights in only a certain number of areas, such as minimum wages and annual leave. Employment Contracts

  • Not later than four weeks after employment starts, the employer must give the employee a written statement of the main terms of employment, covering specified matters. Employment Contracts

  • There are few specific statutory rules on limited-term contracts, eg stipulating the cases in which they may be signed or restricting their duration, and employees on such contracts generally have the same rights and protections as those with indefinite-term contracts. Employment Contracts

  • The method and frequency of payment of wages are not governed by statute, though employees are entitled to be given an itemised written pay statement by their employer, at or before the time of each payment of wages or salary. Pay and Benefits

  • A statutory minimum wage applies to almost all workers over compulsory school age (generally 16 years) who work, or ordinarily work, in the Isle of Man. Pay and Benefits

  • For most adult employees there is no statutory regulation of working time or rest breaks/periods. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Workers are entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave in each leave year. Working Time, Rest and Holidays

  • Working mothers are entitled to 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave (two weeks of the leave are compulsory) and, if they have at least 26 weeks’ service, 26 weeks of additional maternity leave: the leave is unpaid but the employee may be entitled to a social security allowance. Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • An employee who is the biological father of a baby, and/or the husband or partner of the mother, is entitled to take one or two weeks of paternity leave: the leave is unpaid but the employee may be entitled to a social security allowance. Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • Employees who have responsibility for a child with a disability are entitled to take a total of 18 weeks of unpaid “parental leave” in the period up until the child’s 18th birthday. Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • Employees have no statutory entitlement to sick leave or sick pay from their employer. Parenthood and Work-life Balance

  • Employers must not discriminate in relation to employment on grounds of the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. Equality and Discrimination

  • Harassment based on a protected characteristic constitutes unlawful discrimination, as does sexual harassment. Equality and Discrimination

  • Employees have a right to form and join, or not join, trade unions, and have protection from dismissal or detriment for various trade union-related reasons. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • There is no statutory mechanism for trade unions to obtain recognition from employers for bargaining purposes, and any such recognition is voluntary, though an official Code of Practice provides guidance on the issue. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • Employees are not entitled by law to elect representatives for any purpose, and employers have no obligation to inform or consult employees or their representatives on any issues, though employees who are members or officials of recognised trade unions have a statutory entitlement to time off for union activities or duties. Industrial Relations and Collective Rights

  • Employers have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, their employees’ health, safety and welfare at work, and must comply with various specific health and safety obligations, while employees have certain duties and rights in this area. Occupational Health and Safety

  • Employees have the right not to be unfairly dismissed and the employer must have a fair reason for dismissal (these mainly relate to the employee’s capability/qualifications, the employee’s conduct or redundancy), act reasonably and follow a fair procedure. Termination of Employment

  • In most cases, employees must have at least one year’s service in order to bring a complaint that their dismissal is unfair, but there is a range of reasons for dismissal that are “automatically” unfair and employees dismissed on these grounds may claim unfair dismissal without any qualifying period of service. Termination of Employment

  • In dismissing an employee with at least one month’s service, employers must normally observe a statutory minimum notice period: however, an employer may dismiss an employee without notice by reason of the employee’s conduct. Termination of Employment

  • Employees with at least two years’ service are generally entitled to a statutory redundancy payment if they are made redundant, set at one week’s pay per year of service, up to a maximum of 26 years. Termination of Employment

  • If the Employment and Equality Tribunal finds a dismissal to be unfair, it may order the employee’s reinstatement or re-engagement or award compensation. Termination of Employment

  • There is no specific statutory regulation of employees’ position when the business they work in is transferred from one owner to another, and their employment contracts are not transferred automatically to the new owner. Other Key Issues

  • Shop workers have certain rights not to be dismissed, or to suffer any other detriment, for refusing to work on a Sunday. Other Key Issues