INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
NATIONAL IRISH BANK
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
IRISH BANK OFFICIALS' ASSOCIATION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Deputising allowance.
2. Deputising for managers in the Bank has been covered by an industry agreement since 1976. When the Deputising Agreement was first introduced, virtually every branch had a Manager and an Assistant Manager who would have been eligible to claim the allowance when deputising, once the qualifying criteria had been satisfied. Under this arrangement the allowance is specifically excluded in respect of any absences through annual leave. Following a series of conciliation conferences, settlement proposals were reached which the parties agreed to recommend for acceptance:-
"The existing agreement should be amended/replaced as follows:
1. Where an employee in G1 to G4 deputises and carries out the full range of duties of a Branch/Outlet Manager, or where an employee in G1 or G2 deputises and carries out the full range of duties of a Team Leader in a Spoke Branch, the employee will be paid a non pensionable allowance in accordance with the following arrangements.
(a) In the case of single absence lasting for four weeks or longer, the total absence (measured in completed weeks) will qualify for payment of the allowance.
(b) In the case of occasional absence, completed periods of 1 or more weeks of substitution will be aggregated and if the aggregate amounts to eight weeks or more in a calendar year, the aggregate completed weeks will qualify for payment of the allowance.
(c) For the purpose of this agreement a week is defined as any five consecutive working days. The exception to this is where a Bank Holiday occurs.
(d) The allowance only becomes payable where the manager/team leader is absent for a full day. No allowance will attach to absences consisting of part of a day.
(e) The allowances to be paid are set out at paragraph 2 below. It should be noted that an employee on the same (or higher) grade as the role being covered on a deputising basis will not be eligible for payment of an allowance.
(f) Claims, counter-signed by the relevant Area Manager, should be submitted to the Human Resources Department.
2. The following weekly allowances should apply:
G4/G3 covering for Manager £100
G2/G1 covering for Manager £130
G2/G1 covering for Team Leader £100
The effective date of the proposal should be 1st June, 2000."
As the agreement was being balloted on, differences emerged between the Bank and the
IBOA on one aspect of the proposals, i.e. annual leave.
The Union claims that annual leave is covered by the agreement and was to be paid on a
weekly basis but accrued on a daily basis.
The Bank rejected the Union's claims.
As no agreement was possible between the parties, the dispute was referred to the
Labour Relations Commission. Conciliation conferences were held between February and
August, 2000 at which no agreement was reached.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 12th October, 2000 under Section
26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the
23rd November, 2000.
3. 1. The criteria under which the application of Deputising Allowance is being applied will effectively mean that almost no one will get paid the allowance.
2. Because the allowance would be paid on an aggregated basis of 8 weeks or a straight through period of 4 weeks this could result in some staff getting paid to cover their Manager's annual leave and other staff not getting paid.
3. If the payment of Deputising Allowance in the same circumstances in 1997 was acceptable, there is no logical reason why it should not be paid now.
4. In 1999, the existing Deputising Allowance was paid to only 4 people.
4. 1. Under current arrangements only five employees could potentially avail of the allowance, under the proposal the arrangement is extended to all 62 retail branches.
2. There is no rationale for treating annual leave in a more preferential manner than other absences e.g. maternity leave, career breaks and study leave, etc.
3. The Union's proposal has potential equity implications for other deputising arrangements. In due course a claim would be lodged for the extension of the preferential annual leave arrangements to all absences.
4. The claim has significant cost implications for the Company. The cost of the current agreement is not significant. However, the Union's claim to include all annual leave could cost around £50K per year.
The Court having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties recommends that the settlement proposals of 2nd June, 2000 be implemented for a period of 12 months.
At that stage either party can if dissatisfied raise the issue for further discussion.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
7th December, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.