Leisure staff make claim on holiday pay

Staff at centres such as Motherwells Aquatec could take legal action.

Staff at centres such as Motherwells Aquatec could take legal action.

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Cash-strapped North Lanarkshire Leisure could face legal action from staff who claim they have been denied holiday pay.

Sports centre employees are consulting lawyers over the possibility of taking the organisation to an industrial tribunal.

It’s been suggested that a ruling in favour of staff could spark a flood of claims, leading to a huge bill for NL Leisure. The leisure services provider confirmed discussions are taking place, but refused to comment.

NL Leisure had its management fee from North Lanarkshire Council cut by £1 million this year and a pay freeze was announced. Staff were also unhappy after a review of job grades led to wage cuts for some last year.

An NL Leisure source said: “Staff are now saying they are entitled to holiday pay that they have not been receiving.

“Personnel have been steadfast in their claim that this has always been paid - just never broken down as such on pay advice sheets.

“Employment lawyers have been consulted and are suggesting the NL Leisure case doesn’t stand a chance in an industrial tribunal.

“Staff are being encouraged to proceed and have been told the case is very favourable.”

The source said if NL Leisure is found liable, payments might have to be backdated more than a decade to when it was set up.

The insider added: “A number of people are watching from the sidelines. This has the potential to be a considerable accumulative figure, given the number of years and potential number of staff it would cover.

“NLL has changed the way payslips are presented. Sessional staff now see approximately £8 for their hourly rate and the rest is holiday entitlement.

“This has caused some consternation among staff seeing they are on a lower rate than they had been led to believe. As a result more people have been made aware and are watching the situation develop.”

Emma Walker, managing director of NL Leisure said: “We are committed to ensuring our employees receive all terms and conditions they are entitled to, and we are confident our HR policies are clear in this regard.

“A small number of staff have raised concerns about holiday pay entitlement and discussions are taking place to resolve these.

“As this is subject to ongoing legal discussions and we do not discuss individual personnel matters publicly, we are unable to comment further.”