Belfast solicitors, Edwards & Co. says the Supreme Court Judgment ‘is a resounding and emphatic outcome’ for almost 4,000 PSNI officers it represents in the long-running holiday pay case.
The Judgment is the final legal hurdle in the case and means the way is now clear for the Industrial Tribunal in Belfast to decide how much each Police Officer should receive.
The PSNI had previously accepted the manner in which they calculated holiday pay was incorrect. This appeal centred on how far back the claims could reach and the correct method of calculating the underpayments.
Edwards & Co Partner and Head of Employment Law, Niall McMullan, who was in London for the Judgment, said “This is a resounding and emphatic outcome my clients who were supported by the Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI).
“The cost to the PSNI will be substantial. The former Chief Constable estimated the case could involve payments amounting to as much as £30 million. Police officers were short-changed when it came to holiday pay and it is now confirmed they are entitled to the same protections and safeguards as other workers.
“This Judgment by the Supreme Court is now the end of the line. Claims were initially lodged in the Industrial Tribunal in NI, with the PSNI then appealing the successful outcome in the Tribunal to the Court of Appeal. This is a complete vindication and means past under-payments will have to be made good and clients compensated for loss of wages when taking annual leave, but that will be for the Industrial Tribunal to adjudicate.
“Naturally, our clients are delighted by this outcome. They will get what they are entitled to under the law and it confirms that Police Officers also have the same redress as other workers in Northern Ireland when it comes to calculation of holiday pay.
“The Industrial Tribunal phase could take some considerable time to process. Clients however will take comfort today from knowing they have been successful once more.”