There is new uncertainty for those dealing with back claims for holiday pay.
The Northern Irish Court of Appeal has ruled that a series of unlawful deduction to wages claims was not broken by a gap of three months or more between deductions.
Lord Justice Stephens has ruled in ‘Chief Constable of Northern Ireland Police v Agnew’ that “There is nothing in the ERO [Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996] which expressly imposes a limit on the gaps between particular deductions making up a series. We do not consider that there is anything implied from the terms of the ERO which compels to such an interpretation of a series. As a matter of the proper construction of the ERO we conclude that a series is not broken by a gap of three months or more.”
He also decided that it is sufficient to show that there was a “sufficiently similarity of subject matters, such that each event is factually linked with the next … in the alleged series…” . While the NICA ruling is not formally binding on tribunals in England and Wales, who are currently required to follow the ruling in Bear Scotland Ltd, the UK’s Employment Rights Act 1996 contains identical wording to the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996. This means there may be fresh challenges in our Tribunals.
Watch this space for more on how the back claims for holiday pay ruling leads to uncertainty.
If you need advice about holiday pay or any other HR related issues, why not contact us. We’d be happy to help.