Following the announcement made by the agency yesterday

Following the announcement made by the agency yesterday, I can confirm that your NEC does not support the NCA wide restrictions relating the authorisation of leave which have been implemented in preparedness for a ‘No Deal’ EU Exit outcome.

Your NEC were first informed of these potential proposals on the 11th December 2018 but were embargoed from sharing information with members. We expressed the view that the proposed leave restrictions were yet again unnecessarily blunt and the implementation would have arbitrary impact on NCOA members whether or not they were required to provide additional resilience.

Your NEC subsequently escalated the concerns and met with representatives from the NCA Executive Leadership Team on the 19th December 2018 and reiterated our objections to the proposals. We also challenged the agency to provide a formal rationale for the proposed leave restrictions. We received that letter on the 7th January 2019 and I am able to share it with you now.

On the 10th January 2019, NCA Senior Managers again met with representatives from the Trade Unions and informed them that the leave restrictions would be implemented in line with the information which has now been published on the intranet. This is disappointing as prior to the December 2018, your NEC and some workplace reps had been working with the agency and had identified pragmatic solutions to achieve the operational resilience in departments which were directly impacted by the UK exiting the EU. Whilst there were already some restrictions to leave authorisation, the decisions were consistent with operating procedures, enabling members to maintain an appropriate work life balance. Your NEC also overtly supported the agency statement published on the 18th September 2018 on the contingency planning in relation to the UK withdrawal from the EU.

Yesterday I and the NCOA Chair met with agency and whilst acknowledging the need to give our members as much notice as possible of any leave restrictions, we advised the agency  that even at that early stage, the overwhelming feedback to the proposals from NCOA members was negative.

The outcome of the vote in Parliament now adds additional uncertainty. Your NEC will continue to meet with the agency to seek reassurance that the restrictions to leave authorisation are relaxed at the earliest opportunity. On behalf of Members we will also continue to meet the  agency to reach a reasonable position should there be a need to maintain minimum staffing levels for some specific business areas for an extended period.

Members are advised to read the FAQ’s which have been published on the intranet and contact their local workplace rep to raise their concerns should they have an exceptional need for leave which is declined by the agency.

NCOA members will be updated on developments by both e-mail and text. Members can update their contact details at

To read the letter received from the agency click here

Steve Bond

National Officer