INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
SECURICOR (IRELAND) LIMITED
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Brennan
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Public holiday payments.
2. The dispute before the Court concerns the Union's claim of behalf of approximately 61 static guards employed by the Company at its Limerick base for the payment of retrospection arising from an anomaly in payment for public holidays.
In April, 1996, the Union brought to the attention of the Company that employees in Limerick were paid less for working public holidays than employees employed by the Company in other locations around the country. The Company rectified the anomaly with effect from May, 1996.
The difference between the current method of calculating public holiday entitlements and the previous method is that in the past the 8 hours public holiday entitlement was applied on top of a 40 hour week. This resulted in the payment of overtime after 48 hours instead of 40 hours. The loss to each employee ranged between 2 hours and 4 hours pay per public holiday. The Union is seeking payment with retrospection from the commencement of workers employment.
Local level discussions failed to resolve the issue and the matter was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference took place on the 11th February, 1997. As agreement could not be reached the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 4th April, 1997 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place in Limerick on 21st May, 1997.
3. 1. The workers concerned have been wrongly paid for many years, while their colleagues employed at other locations have been paid in accordance with long- established agreements.
2. The workers are entitled to be fully compensated for all overtime worked on public holidays during the period of their employment.
3. The Union is concerned that this is the third occasion that management in Limerick has failed to pay the Limerick-based workers on a par with their colleagues employed elsewhere.
4. The Company has acknowledged that mistakes have been made. In the circumstances the workers should not suffer any financial loss.
4. 1. In the past the terms and conditions for all employees had minor variances from location to location. In February, 1996, the Company and the Union concluded negotiations on a Comprehensive Agreement. During the negotiations it was accepted that it was not possible to detail all terms and conditions of employment and that variances may arise from one location to another. It was never accepted by the Company that any variances once identified would be amended retrospectively.
2. The security industry operates on extremely tight margins. The Company charges an hourly rate to its clients on the basis of a margin over the hourly rate it pays to its employees. The Company has not gained from the public holiday formula paid in the past.
3. The Company responded positively when the issue was first raised. In an attempt to resolve the matter it proposed a once off payment to those involved. The Company cannot afford to pay the amount sought by the Union, nor can it afford to set a precedent.
4. The Union's claim, if conceded, would set an unacceptable precedent whereby any other differences identified in the future would be retrospective.
The Court having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties recommends the following be accepted, without precedent, by the parties.
A sum of £15,000 to be paid by the Company to the claimants in total, this money to be divided on an agreed basis between the claimants.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
10th June, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.