INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Sick-Pay Scheme.
2. The Savoy and Screen Cinemas are located in Dublin city centre and employ 62 workers represented by the Union. A sick-pay scheme has been operated by the Company since prior to the take-over of the Savoy in 1984. The scheme is administered by an insurance Company on the basis of premia paid by workers. The Union is seeking an improved Company-funded scheme. The Company has offered a scheme in line with a separate proposal in relation to a sister cinema, the Santry Omniplex The proposed scheme provides no benefit for the first 3 days of illness which is unacceptable to the Union. (Under the insurance-based scheme, during the first two weeks of illness, payment of wages is made provided the duties of the sick worker are covered by colleagues. No payment is made if there is no cover. After 2 weeks, the insurance-based scheme comes into operation).
The dispute was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission at which agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court, on the 10th of September, 1977, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court carried out its investigation on the 20th of February, 1998, the first offered date suitable to both parties.
3. 1. The present scheme is unsatisfactory because the Insurers can determine that, due to a worker's medical history, cover will not be provided. Also, due to the high cost of the insurance premium some workers may not take on the insurance cover leaving them with no sick pay scheme. The weekly cost of cover is approximately 7.5p per pound.
2. The suggestion that there should be a claw-back of the 3 days' payment as a quid pro quo is unacceptable. The employer has borne no responsibility or liability for payments to staff during long-term illness and this requires to be addressed.
3. The scheme currently in place should be improved by the provision of service criteria and benefits in line with the Santry Omniplex proposal. Benefits for those with between 6 months' and 4 years' service should be 3 weeks' pay per year and for those with over 4 years' service, benefit should be 6 weeks' pay per year.
4. 1. The Company is not prepared to change its sick-pay scheme to the extent that the Union is requesting. The offer made at conciliation is fair and reasonable and should be accepted.
2. The sick-pay scheme currently in operation at the Savoy and Screen is satisfactory to the Company and it is content to let the scheme continue. However, at the Union's insistence, the Company has agreed to look at alternatives, hence the new scheme proposed.
3. Absenteeism at the Savoy currently runs at approximately 11%. The Company is concerned that any alteration to the scheme may escalate this high level.
4. The Company is at a loss to understand the Union's stance on this issue and has offered proposals to resolve this dispute. The Union has not offered any realistic options.
The Court, having considered the written and oral submissions of the parties, recommends that the proposal which emanated from conciliation should be accepted subject to the amendment of 3 days' absence to 2 days'.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
13th of March, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.