INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Alleged failure by Company to allow a worker to continue working until age 55.
2. The worker joined the Company in 1965 and was employed in the Aircraft Cleaning Section of the Company. He had 28 years permanent service.
The Company claims that the worker first applied for early retirement under the Company's voluntary redundancy scheme (Cahill Plan) to commence on the 31st December, 1993 i.e. after his 54th birthday. He subsequently requested that his retirement date be put back to the 25th February, 1994. The Company agreed to this change. The worker later requested that his date of departure be put back to November, 1994. The Company rejected this request under the terms of the scheme which stated that:-
"Agreement to release will depend on a number of factors including the applicant's skills and abilities and the need to maintain particular jobs in the organisation."
The Company claims that there were no operational requirements to retain the worker.
The Union claims that because the worker was forced to retire in February, 1994 at age 54 he was subject to a "clawback" of 12% on his severance lump sum and was also at a loss of continual income from February to December of that year. The total loss of income to the worker amounted to £8,113.00 which the Union is claiming from the Company on behalf of the worker.
The Company rejects the claim and states that the scheme was a voluntary one and the worker could have opted out of it at any time.
The Union sought to have the dispute referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation
and recommendation but the Company objected to such a referral. The dispute was then referred to the Labour Court by the Union under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. The Court investigated the dispute on the 16th July, 1997.
3. 1. The worker was not treated in a fair or equal way when compared to other employees.
2. The worker concerned was the only one who was refused an extension to his retirement date.
3. The worker had a long and dedicated service with the Company. He should have been treated in a more magnanimous manner.
4. The worker has suffered a financial loss as a result of the Company's decision not to extend his retiring date.
4. 1. It was a voluntary scheme and the worker could have opted out of it at any time.
2. The Company claims that the worker concerned is not a "worker" within the scope of Section 4 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1946 at the time of this referral. His contract of employment terminated on the 25th February, 1994.
3. This is not a "trade dispute" as defined by Section 3 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1946.
4. Those workers with particular skills or qualifications were retained by the Company until a suitable date was sanctioned for their release. In the worker's case there was no operational need to retain him.
The Court has given careful consideration to the submissions from the parties and has taken into account the additional information supplied on request by the Company.
The Court has concluded that the Company treated the claimant in a fair manner and accordingly does not recommend concession of the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th August, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.