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Fifth of Northern Ireland firms expecting bill of £100k-plus after holiday pay ruling


Statistics: Scott Alexander

Statistics: Scott Alexander

Statistics: Scott Alexander

More than one in five organisations in Northern Ireland estimate the cost to their business of miscalculated holiday pay to be over £100,000, according to a survey.

A poll by workplace advisers Legal Island and O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors asked 135 businesses about issues relating to holiday pay after a decision which will see the Police Service of Northern Ireland facing an estimated £40m bill after losing a legal battle into holiday pay due to its officers.

The decision confirms the rights and legal entitlement of workers and employees to bring claims against their employers going back to 1998.

However, the PSNI is to appeal the ruling by the Court of Appeal.

Seamus McGranaghan, director and head of employment at O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors, said: "The Court of Appeal's landmark ruling that holiday pay must reflect overtime and allowances has shone a spotlight into the operations of all employers when it comes to calculating such pay.

"There are a few interesting statistics at play. Firstly, I think we can safely say that 22% of businesses expecting to have to pay compensation of over £100,000 is significant - employers are waking up to the potential liability they face, the repercussions for their businesses but also the potential knock-on impact on our already fragile economy."

Around half of those surveyed said they had acknowledged the need to recalculate holiday pay following PSNI v Agnew. And one in four said they had already received notice from employees or their representatives that they intend to make a claim for back pay.

Scott Alexander, head of training and development at Legal Island, said: "Over the last number of years holiday pay has been one of the key topics of interest in employment law and continues to be a very complicated and controversial subject, as case law develops. There is no sign of that abating soon."

Belfast Telegraph