INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
CADBURY IRELAND LTD
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation RC785/97.
2. The worker has been employed as an assistant cashier in the staff shop for 15 years. A vacancy for the position of cashier in the shop was advertised last April. There were seven applicants for the post, including the appellant.
The method of selection for the post involved; (a) an aptitude test; (b) interview. To progress to the interview stage an applicant had to obtain 50% or over in the aptitude test.
The appellant failed to achieve 50% in the aptitude test and was not, therefore, called for interview.
The Union claims that the worker should have been considered for the post given her experience of that position and her seniority within the Company. The worker has over the years deputised for the cashier when he/she was absent.
The Company argues that the Cashier's position is one of a number of jobs for which applicants are required to sit an aptitude test. There is a Company/Union agreement in relation to the selection process for vacant posts and the use of aptitude tests. The Company claims that the worker concerned did not obtain the necessary 50% in the aptitude test and was therefore not called for interview.
The Union referred the dispute to a Rights Commissioner. The Rights Commissioner investigated the dispute on the 25th and 30th of September, 1997 and in his recommendation RC785/97 recommended that:-
"The selection process was carried out fully in accordance with the relevantagreement. The Union's claim, in effect, seeks a departure from that agreement in circumstances where a successful candidate has been notified.
While one can not but have sympathy for the claimant, the competition was conducted in accordance with the agreement and any attempt to set aside or modify the outcome would produce at least one more problem and constitute a dangerous precedent. I am not prepared to recommend such a course.
I do recommend, however, that the current practice in relation to providing cover for the cashier be continued and not altered other than following negotiation and agreement. I also recommend that the worker and her colleague be offered the opportunity for training or any change in systems or technology introduced into their area of work".
(The worker was named in the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation).
The Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 22nd of October, 1997. The Court heard the appeal on the 15th of December, 1997 under Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969.
3. 1. The worker should have been promoted to the cashier's vacancy given her experience and service with the Company.
2. The worker performed the duties of the cashier on many occasions over the years, whenever the cashier was absent.
3. Had the worker obtained the 50% in the aptitude test, she would have been the successful candidate, given her experience and seniority within the Company.
4. Aptitude tests can be a problem for mature employees who are a long time out of the formal education system. The Company should make allowances for this when
filling vacancies which involve such tests.
4. 1. There is a Company/Union agreement in relation to the criteria for filling vacancies. The Company is not prepared to deviate from this agreement.
2. The worker could have availed of sample questions for the aptitude test if she so wished.
3. The worker applied for another job which entailed an aptitude test. The test was the same as that used for the cashier's job. The worker was given a sample paper for the test. However, she failed to score 50% in the test.
4. The Company is prepared to provide the necessary training in new technology to employees acting as cashiers in the shop.
Having considered the submissions from both parties the Court is satisfied that the Rights Commissioner's recommendation is fair in the circumstances and accordingly should be upheld.
The Court therefore rejects the appeal and so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd December, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.