The policy is being proposed as an outworking of an ongoing court case between the PSNI and its staff. This case has established that regular overtime and allowances are due when employees take statutory leave of 20 days under the Working Time Agreement. The current ruling and case law states that claims for back pay could go back as far as 1998.
This is being challenged by the PSNI in an appeal to the Supreme Court and the case is currently listed for June 23rd and 24th 2021.
Key issues which could be raised during appeal include:
- the cost implications of the findings and limitations to any backdating which in England is limited by legislation to two years,
- whether a break of more than three months between holidays, constitutes that the claim is out of date and disregarded for backdating and
- clarification in regards to what allowances should be included along with considering what constitutes “regular overtime”.
The attached NIHE policy 1.2 addresses payment of overtime and allowances in regards to Two periods (a) The period from 1 April 2013 – 31 March 2018 and (b) From 1 April 2018 onwards.
Those who have undertaken overtime since 1st October will receive an additional one year’s back pay. This is further explained in Section 4 of the policy.
This NIHE policy will put in place a process for calculating HPA and making payments being to staff going forward in line with legislation.
Individual employees who are entitled to a back payment may be offered individual settlement through a conciliation agreement and the back payment will be recognized as a settlement for any claims currently lodged with the industrial tribunal (section 5 of the policy).
This cannot be decided by NIPSA collectively and is the decision of the individual employee to accept the back pay and sign the conciliation agreement.
The purpose of this bulletin is to inform members of the latest correspondence from management (attached) in respect of implementing the NIHE Holiday Pay Agreement for Employees inclusive of back pay and as Management have stated “subject to Departmental Approval”.
NIPSA makes it clear that whilst this offer might be the best available at this current time NIPSA will not enter into a collective agreement and that any Agreement would be between NIHE and employees to consider and accept individually in relation to any implementation and calculation of Holiday Pay offered under the NIHE Agreement and agreed via conciliated settlement with the Labour Relations Agency.
NIPSA has been advised that NIHE Management are now seeking to bring forward a paper via CXBC and NIHE Board with a view to seeking Departmental Approval to bring forward the proposal to members individually.
To facilitate members with any further questions NIPSA will provide further communications and arrange a Zoom internet meeting to discuss the NIHE proposal further once confirmation of Departmental approval and next steps has been received.