INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR109/00/JH.
2. In June, 1999, the worker wrote to the Manager, Human Resources seeking information on assistance provided by the Company to those participating in Adult Education An Duaisceim. On 23rd August, 1999, he was notified that his application was rejected. The worker appealed the decision but did not receive any response. Subsequently, the worker found that a colleague at Athlone had been guaranteed assistance under the scheme and he decided that he had been discriminated against and he then referred the matter to the Rights Commissioner Service of the Labour Relations Commission and his case was heard on the 9th May, 2000.
On the 22nd May, 2000, the Rights Commissioner recommended:-
On the basis of the information available and for the reasons set out in the conclusions above, I recommend that the worker should apply for the same or similar support in 2000 that he be provided with support under the scheme, in line with other employees. (The worker was named in the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation).
On the 25th May, 2000, the Company appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation to the Labour Court and the Court heard the appeal on the 8th December, 2000.
3. 1. The scheme provides that the decision re. participation should rest with the Manager Human Resources and that local management should make a recommendation in this regard.
2. The Duisceim Scheme is a wholly discretionary Scheme to support employees who wish to further their education.
3. The Company is finding it difficult to provide the required service to their customers because of the shortage of drivers, particularly in the Athlone Depot.
4. The implication of the recommendation would see the Duaisceim Scheme loose it's discretionary basis and could result in staff undertaking a course of study and insisting on release to attend these activities irrespective of the situation at local level, where shortage of staff could create a situation which could lead to the cancellation of trains.
4. 1. The worker has been denied access to further education by his employer and this denial has affected his personal development.
2. The position relating to staff numbers is not covered in An Duaisceim, the scheme on which the Employer say they based their decision.
3. A colleague, also based in Athlone, was subsequently released to attend a similar course.
4. The worker has lost wages as a result of taking this case.
The Court having considered the written and oral submissions in this case concurs with the comments and recommendations of the Rights Commissioner. The Court, therefore, upholds the Rights Commissioner's recommendation and rejects the appeal.
The Court further clarifies that the recommendation of the Rights Commissioner means that the claimant be allowed partake in any other educational course, when one is available.
In relation to the claimant's loss of pay, the Court would expect that he would be allowed the normal facilities of any individuals in the Company going to the Labour Court, and that he should not lose money for attending the Rights Commissioner's and the Labour Court hearings.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th December, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.