SECTION 28(1), ORGANISATION OF WORKING TIME ACT, 1997
GROUP 4 SECURITAS
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Decision WT291/98/JH.
2. In 1998 the Union submitted a claim on behalf of an individual employee for an increase in the £5.00 Sunday premium which is paid to all employees in unionised employment in the security industry. The rate was agreed in 1984. The Union submitted the claim to a Rights Commissioner under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997. Both parties agreed that this was a test case which would have implications for the security industry in general. The Rights Commissioner issued her Decision on the 15th of December, 1998, as follows:-
"Based on the submissions at the hearing and my conclusions
set out above in the context of the Working Time Act 1997, I
do not consider that this is a valid claim."
The Union claimed that the rate of £5.00 was not "reasonable in all the circumstances" as stated in Section 14(1) of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997. It requested the Court to recommend the payment of double time for Sunday working, citing the low rates of pay in the industry, the unsocial nature of Sunday working and payments applied in other employments. The Company argued that the £5.00 Sunday premium was the agreed rate in the industry, that the worker having to work on a Sunday was recognised by the payment as provided for under Section 14(1)(a) of the Organisation of Working Time Act and that any deviation from the agreed payment could jeopardise the Company's ability to compete in a very competitive market and so endanger jobs.
The Court considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties.
Section 14(1) of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, clearly states that where an employee's pay has not taken account of the requirement to work on Sunday, he/she shall be compensated.
In this case the employee is paid an allowance for working on Sunday and, therefore, does not have a case under the Act.
The Court does not consider that Section 14, under which this claim has been brought, allows for a claim for enhancement of the rate.
The Court, therefore, rejects the appeal and upholds the Rights Commissioner's Decision.
The Court so determines.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th April, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.