Unite questions whether failure to address payments irregularity is due to absence of an Executive Minister
At least one thousand workers across Roads Service, Rivers Agency and Forestry Service denied holiday pay based on Working Time Regulations act
December 13th: Gareth Scott, Unite Industrial officer with responsibility for the union’s industrial civil service membership in Transport NI (Roads Service), Rivers Agency, Forestry Service and other agencies highlighted his memberships’ concerns:
“The Working Time Regulations act (1998) established that holiday entitlement must be calculated on the basis of total pay rather than the basic wage – as such, holiday pay should factor in overtime, shift allowance, weekend allowances as well. A comprehensive body of precedent and case law has built up over the past twenty years meaning that most workplaces now recognise this situation as the norm.
“Unfortunately, workers in the industrial civil service still receive holiday pay based only on their basic wage. This is a completely unacceptable situation and we are encouraging our members to take a collective grievance on this issue so that we can force this to resolution.
“Unite represents the large majority of frontline workers in agencies such as Transport NI (formerly the Roads Service), the Forestry Service and the Rivers agency. These are workers who play a vital role in maintaining roads, motorway and river safety in these cold months but they are workers whose employer is failing to meet their legal obligations.
“Unite has repeatedly raised this issue with the Department to seek redress for our members; despite these entreaties they refuse to adopt the approach needed. Our members are asking whether the Departments’ delay is caused by the absence of an Executive Minister. If so we say that workers cannot be denied fair pay as a result of political failure.
“The Departments of Infrastructure and Agriculture must now adopt a fair approach to calculating holiday pay and compensate our members for past income foregone”, Mr Scott finished.