INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
HOUSTON PRECISION ENGINEERING
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation 450/98.
2. The dispute concerns the holiday entitlements of one worker who was in employment with the Company from the 19th of May, 1997 to the 19th of December, 1997. The Union claims that, on the termination of his employment, the worker did not receive his due holiday entitlements The matter was the subject of investigation by a Rights Commissioner who indicated that, for the period in question, the worker was entitled to 2.66 days' holidays, plus 1 public holiday, but not to payment for December the 25th and 26th. The Rights Commissioner found that the Company, in its calculation of holiday payment due to the worker, had offset 2 days' holidays against 2 days' absence due to sickness. The Rights Commissioner found further that there was no written contract authorising such offsetting of holidays against sick leave.
Accordingly, the Rights Commissioner recommended that the worker should receive compensation of £60 in lieu of unpaid holiday entitlements. The Recommendation was appealed to the Court, by the Company, on the 21st of December, 1998, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969.
The Court heard the appeal, in Donegal, on the 9th of March, 1999.
3. 1. The Rights Commissioner recommended the payment of £60 to the worker (equivalent to 2 days' pay approximately) which is unfair to the Company as he was due only 1 day's holiday pay (details of the Company's calculations supplied to the Court).
2. The worker was actually paid for 2 days when out sick. It was not Company policy to pay for sick days and the worker would have understood that to be the case at the time.
3. The worker took a half day off on the 15th of December which the Company treated as a half day's holidays. The Company was not informed that the worker was absent "in order to sign on" at the employment exchange.
4. The Company is prepared to pay the worker any holiday pay due, based on a clear calculation of his entitlements.
4. 1. In its breakdown of the workers annual leave, the Company deducted the 27th and 28th of November, 1997, when the worker was off sick. There was no prior agreement to offset absences for sick leave against holiday pay. The worker did not request annual leave for those 2 days.
2. The half day taken by the worker in December was not annual leave but simply time off to facilitate his signing on for employment benefit.
3. The worker, as a full-time employee, qualified for the public holiday on the 2nd of June, 1997 under the Holiday (Employees) Act, 1973.
4. In total, the Company incorrectly deducted 3.5 days' holidays from the worker's annual leave entitlement.
The Court has calculated the claimant's annual leave for the period he was employed and finds that, in accordance with the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, he has entitlement to pay in respect of the public holidays, the 25th and 26th of December, 1997. His annual leave entitlement, based on a 39-hour week, is as follows:-
19th May to 30th May - 4.68 hours' annual leave
1st June to *30th Sept - 5 days' annual leave
1st Oct to 30th Nov - 2.66 days' annual leave
1st Dec to 19th Dec - 7.48 hour's annual leave
Total, including public holiday
entitlement for 25th/26th December = 11.22 days.
As the claimant had already taken 2.5 days' annual leave and was paid for six days' annual leave at the date of termination of employment, that leaves a current outstanding entitlement of 2.72 days.
*The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 Part III was implemented on the 30th of September, 1997, thereby repealing the Holidays (Employees) Act, 1973 from that date.
The Court, therefore, overturns the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation and directs the employer to pay the amount of 2.72 days' outstanding annual leave entitlement.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
31st March, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.