UNISON Northern Ireland

Supreme Court ruling (Agnew) on the absence of payments

The outcome of the Supreme Court ruling (Agnew) on the absence of certain payments in periods of annual and sick leave will raise significant expectation among many thousands of workers. Many cases across the public and private sectors have been stayed pending the outcome of this case.  The Supreme Court Judgment which will now mean backpay can be sought for thousands of workers potentially going back to 1998. The cost to the PSNI alone will be at least 40 million pounds.


An Industrial Tribunal in 2018 ruled that unlawful deductions made from holiday entitlements of the PSNI’s officers and support staff were in breach of European law rights.


In 2019, the PSNI appealed the decision to the NI Court of Appeal who upheld the Tribunal’s decision. The PSNI appealed again to the UK Supreme Court, being heard in December 2022.


We are awaiting guidance from UNISONS UK legal, and strategy leads on how we proceed as a union.


There will be UNISON members in the public and private sectors who will seek to have your rights and entitlements vindicated where they have not been properly applied.


UNISON members covered by union recognition and collective bargaining arrangements will now be represented through the appropriate regional bargaining structures. 


With other employers your union, as requested, will represent you. In both scenarios UNISON branches and workplace reps will issue information to members as developments unfold 


All of this will take some time.