INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
IRISH DISTILLERS LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Inclusion of plus pay in remuneration package.
2. The Union has submitted a claim for the re-instatement of plus pay on behalf of four staff employed as sales representatives. The claimants were employed by Fitzgeralds Ltd; a subsidiary of Irish Distillers Ltd. The salary structure in the subsidiary company excluded plus payments.
The Union states that two of the claimants transferred from IDL into Fitzgeralds and were in receipt of plus pay while the other two employees were already with the company. It states that it is inequitable to withhold the plus payment from the claimants as they were already employed by the Company prior to the cessation of plus pay for new employees.
The Company claims that an agreement was concluded with the group of unions on the 7th October, 1998 that plus payments would not apply to future employees of the Company. In May, 1999 IDL decided to integrate the product portfolio of Fitzgerald & Co with that of Irish Distillers Ltd and to cease the effective trading of Fitzgerald & Co. The staff of Fitzgerald & Co were offered re-employment with IDL without plus pay. These conditions were accepted by the four claimants.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 12th September, 2000 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 15th October, 2000 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 28th November, 2000.
3. 1. It is inequitable to withhold plus pay from the claimants as they were already
employed by Fitzgeralds prior to the deletion of plus pay for new employees.
2. Other IDL staff who were seconded to the sales division of Fitzgeralds held their plus pay including management grades.
3. During their service with Fitzgeralds the claimants drove cars in the IDL fleet and all paperwork was channelled through IDL structures.
4. The Company itself set the precedent by conceding these payments to IDL staff recruited between 1993 and 1998.
4. 1. Fitzgerald and Co. was set up as a completely separate company with its own Board of Directors; different terms and conditions for both customers and staff from those of Irish Distillers Limited.
2. When Fitzgerald and Co. ceased trading it was decided to re-employ the sales personnel on terms and conditions as applied in IDL for new employees at that time. Former employees of Fitzgeralds received an average increase of 31% of basic pay.
3. Plus pay was never part of the terms and conditions of employment in Fitzgeralds.
4. Any concession of this claim would have serious financial knock-on effects for the Company.
5. Agreement was concluded with the Unions in 1998 that "plus pay" would no longer apply to future employees of the Company.
The Court has taken into consideration all aspects of this claim. At the time of transfer it was made clear to the transferring employees that plus pay would not apply as the company had eliminated this payment for all staff joining the company since 1998. The Court accepts that this is the situation which applies to these four claimants. Therefore, the Court does not recommend concession of the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
5th December, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.