NIPSA says holiday back-pay decision should apply to all employees

By Gary Adair

The ongoing story of the public sector back-dated pay decision continues to be at the forefront of news in Northern Ireland as the scope of the decision grows ever wider.

What started as a class action suit brought by a group representing some 3,700 police officers and civilian police staff has, thanks to some perhaps over-effective news reporting, apparently expanded to include the entire public sector. The reach could yet increase further, with the trade union NIPSA commenting that the decision should apply to all employees in and out of the public sector.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland are now faced with a £40m bill to settle the claim of back-dated holiday pay reaching back over 20 years following a Court of Appeal decision that employee holiday pay should have been based on the actual hours worked, including overtime, and not simply on the basic hours worked.

The case serves a cautionary tale for employers across Northern Ireland to be aware of their obligations towards their employees, which stretch far beyond the realms of holiday pay. Employer vigilance is required in all aspects of maintaining employee rights and, as this case illustrates, employers who fail in this risk being faced with a steep bill.

If you are an employer or an employee and require legal advice or support from an Employment law solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by clicking here.