Incremental credit for long-term acting ruled out

The Labour Court has said it will not award backdated incremental credit in cases where long-term acting positions are regularised.

In a case concerning an IMPACT member whose position was regularised after they had acted up in a grade VIII position for almost nine years, the Court strongly criticised the HSE’s “wholly inconsistent” approach to paying incremental credit. But it said it had “no option” but to reject claims for incremental credit because the Haddington Road agreement on regularisation of acting positions was clear that it should be done on a cost-neutral basis.

The Court said HSE inconsistencies in allowing or refusing incremental credit on appointment to permanent posts “undermine management’s credibility on these issues and bring the entire process into disrepute.” It recommended national-level discussions to agree a mechanism “to ensure that such practices cease with immediate effect.”

It also reprimanded the HSE for failing to use established dispute resolution procedures.

Meanwhile, IMPACT has warned local government management about its slow progress on regularising long-term acting posts. It also criticised some local authorities for saying they intend to terminate long-term acting posts in advance of agreement, and advised IMPACT branches not to agree the termination of any acting allowances in advance of national agreement on the matter.

In a letter to the Local Government Management Agency, IMPACT national secretary Peter Nolan called on national management to ensure that no acting allowances were terminated until an agreed process is completed. He said management had agreed to establish a national review of local outcomes before they are implemented but, despite requests, the employers had not yet done it.