POA Circulars

87 | 13.07.2012

Protest day - 10th May 2012

Following receipt of a number of requests for clarification and advice regarding the deduction of wages following the protest meeting held on the 10th of May 2012, we have sought legal advice from Thompsons Solicitors.

Thompsons have advised as follows:

Deductions from Wages

Section 13 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that employees have the right not to suffer unauthorised deductions unless it is an authorised deduction.  Section 14 outlines those excepted or authorised deductions. 

Section 14(5) provides:

Section does not apply to deduction from a worker’s wages made by his employer where the worker has taken part in a strike or other industrial action and the deduction is made by the employer on account of the worker having taken part in strike or other action. 

Therefore an Employment Tribunal claim submitted by a worker who suffers a deduction from their wages for taking part in strike or other industrial action is unlikely to have reasonable prospects of success.

Breach of Contract

While the POA believes that the action taken on 10th of May 2012 was a protest meeting that may not necessarily be the view taken by a court.

If while taking part in strike or industrial action an employee does not or fails to perform all of the duties required of them under the terms of their contract of employment, the employee has no right to payment in accordance with their terms and conditions for the period during which they took part in that strike or industrial action.  It therefore follows that a claim for breach of contract for non-payment of wages, which an employee believes are due for the period during which they were on strike or taking part in industrial action, is unlikely to have reasonable prospects of success.

NTS 47/2010

While the date on the notice to staff has expired, it has not been replaced by anything and therefore the Executive understands the formula contained in the notice is the one which the Prison Service will rely upon to deduct salary from those who took part in the protest.

The Executive are aware that some members are aggrieved because Governors have not dealt with this issue consistently or fairly in their opinion.

The Executive are also aware that staff who were an E-shift on the 10th May and supported the Unions protest day, but attended for duty in the morning have lost a full day’s pay.  Whilst this appears unfair legal redress has little prospects.  The NEC ask all members who were an E shift and lost a day’s pay to raise a grievance and request that they only lose the equitable amount of money as staff on a Main or A shift. 

However, these members must accept that they were not required to attend for duty in the afternoon when other members were.

The POA HR Whitley Sub Committee will raise the provisions of NTS 47/2010 with NOMS and ascertain their views on this issue.

Please draw the contents of this Circular to your members.

Yours sincerely


General Secretary