Council denies pay error but agrees to years of time off

More than 2,000 council workers are being given extra paid holidays because of a possible underpayment of wages dating from April 2009.

Officials at SBC have confirmed that in excess of 2,400 employees are involved and The Southern has calculated that the minimum total lieu time lost to the council will be nine years. But it is likely to be higher.

The problem stems from the introduction of a single-status pay agreement which replaces the APT&C terms and conditions. It was compounded when workers moved from weekly and fortnightly pay to monthly.

Unions highlighted a possible problem when they reviewed the 2008 agreement and both sides have agreed on a deal that does not involve any back payment.

The council told us: “Agreement has been reached with the unions to provide employees with time off in lieu (TOIL) to compensate for previous years, with employees entitled to a maximum of four days TOIL. There are 2,400 employees entitled to TOIL, with approximately one in seven entitled to four full days.”

That means about 342 workers qualify for the full entitlement – that’s around 1,340 days, or 3.8 years. And even if the remaining 2,058 qualify for just a single day – that’s another 5.6 years. And, of course, some could qualify for two or three days. The local authority does not accept there were underpayments.

And there will be no financial recompense for staff who have since left and who would have qualified for lieu time.

SBC chief executive Tracy Logan said there had been no mistake and services would not be affected. She added: “It is just added annual leave entitlement.”