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Case details

Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and another (Appellants/Cross-Respondents) v Agnew and others (Respondents/Cross-Appellants) (Northern Ireland)

Case ID: 2019/0204

Case summary

Issue

(1) Whether the Court of Appeal erred in finding that there had been a breach of the principle of equivalence and that the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998 and Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 had to be read to afford a right to police officer claimants to present a complaint with regard to a series of underpayments of holiday pay;
(2) Whether the Court of Appeal erred in its interpretation of what is meant by a series of payments and when such a series ends;
(3) Whether the Court of Appeal erred in failing to find that when ascertaining whether there has been an underpayment of holiday pay under the Working Time Regulations it should be assumed that the 4 weeks paid annual leave mandated by the Regulations is taken first;
(4) Whether the Court of Appeal erred in concluding that a divisor of 20/365 cannot be correct when calculating the amount of overtime to be taken into account in holiday pay;
(5) Whether the Court of Appeal erred in failing to rule conclude that a 12–month period is not the appropriate reference period for the purpose of calculating underpayments.

Facts

Officers and civilian employees of the Police of Northern Ireland had, since the introduction of the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998, been paid their basic pay while on annual leave, whereas case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union in relation to article 7 of the Working Time Directive 2003/88/EC had evolved to require that workers be paid their “normal pay” during such leave.
This only came to the attention of the appellants following delivery of the decision of Langstaff J in Bear Scotland Ltd v Fulton [2015] ICR (EAT). The respondents began presenting their complaints for unlawful deductions from pay and underpayments of holiday pay to the Industrial Tribunal in 2015.
The appellants accept that the respondents are entitled to be paid “normal pay” while on annual leave, and that the calculation and payment of holiday pay as basic pay instead of normal pay amounts to making an unlawful deduction from wages and a failure to pay holiday pay in full. The dispute relates to the definition of the word “worker” and the correct method of calculating such unlawful deductions and underpayments.

Judgment appealed

[2019] NICA 32

Parties

Appellant(s)

(1) Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (2) Northern Ireland Policing Board

Respondent(s)

Alexander Agnew and others

Appeal

Justices

Lord Hodge, Lord Briggs, Lord Kitchin, Lady Rose, Lord Richards

Hearing start date

14 December 2022

Hearing finish date

16 December 2022