INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
IRISH DISTILLERS LIMITED
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Sick Pay Scheme.
2. The claim for improvement to the sick pay scheme for general operatives has been ongoing for some time. The Union states that the current scheme is totally out of line with what one could expect from a multi-national company. It claims that the Company had proposed a new sick pay scheme which the Union believes would be broadly acceptable to the members. However, in return the Company is seeking to eliminate cash payments and to replace them by electronic credit transfer (ECT). The proposal was rejected by the members.
The Company argues that the present system of payment is outmoded and cumbersome to operate. All other groups in the Company and most outside it now operate the ECT system.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 4th of December, 1998 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 21st of December, 1998 under Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 23rd of February, 1999.
3. 1. Empolyees who are paid in cash are entitled to that type of payment system and have no wish to change to a credit transfer system.
2. While the new proposed sick pay scheme is acceptable it should not be contingent on the acceptance of ECT.
3. Cashless pay is a very emotive issue for a lot of workers. Members like the comfort factor of receiving a pay packet each week.
4. If cashless pay is to be addressed as an issue, it should be tabled by management and dealt with in its own right.
4. 1. The revised sick pay scheme proposed by the Company was accepted by the Union but rejected by the members.
2. The current system of cash payment is outdated and cumbersome to operate.
3. There is a high security risk to both employees and the Company's premises in relation to cash payments.
4. All new employees are paid under the ECT system.
It is clear that the Company put forward its proposals for a revised sick pay scheme on the basis of a reciprocal concession by the Union on the introduction of a cashless pay system. In these circumstances the Court does not consider it reasonable to separate the issues at this stage.
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court recommends that the Company's proposal for a revised sick pay scheme be agreed and implemented. The Court also recommends that the Company's proposal on electronic credit transfer be accepted by the Union and that on implementation of the new arrangements each employee affected should be paid a once-off lump sum of £200.
The Court notes the Company's assurance that it will provide advice and assistance to employees, requiring such advice and assistance, with regard to the use of banking facilities, including opening new back accounts, so as to minimise inconvenience caused by the new arrangements.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
1st March, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.