INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
ARCADIA GROUP PLC
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Inconvenience Payments.
2. The dispute relates to a claim by the Union on behalf of 6 workers in the Company for an inconvenience payment in respect of disturbance caused during the refurbishment of the Arnotts store in Henry street during 1998/1999. The Arcadia Group operates a concession in Arnotts store under the Principles label. The refurbishment of the Arnotts store was a major operation and a compensation package was agreed with the Union in respect of Arnotts staff ranging from £125 at the lower end of the scale to £400 at the higher end depending on the level of inconvenience. The fashion floor in Arnotts was in the higher category and received £400 per worker. As the Principles concession is on the fashion floor the Union submitted a claim for the inconvenience payment of £400 per worker in respect of the 6 workers employed by Arcadia plc. The Company rejected the claim. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on the 6th September, 2000 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court by the Labour Relations Commission on the 11th September, 2000. A Court hearing was held on the 8th December, 2000, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The workers concerned endured considerable disruption during the refurbishment. They are entitled to the same payments as the Arnotts workers received.
2. There is ample precedence in the Retail Trade for such payments being made to workers. Companies such as Brown Thomas, Roches Stores, and Tesco have done so.
3. Most other concessions in Arnotts, at the time of the refurbishment, have made the inconvenience payment to their staff.
4. 1. The claim is not justified as the level of inconvenience experienced by the workers concerned was not significant. Management disputes the contention that the inconvenience was made by other concession outlets in Arnotts.
2. The claim was not raised at the time of the refurbishment and has only been raised some twelve months after the work took place.
3. There is no precedent within the Arcadia Group for the payment to an unrelated group of workers i.e. Arnotts staff, to those in the Group.
4. Arcadia Group staff are employed under completely different terms and conditions of employment to the workers of the stores in which concessions operate with more advantageous rates of pay and benefits. There are implications for consequential claims from other stores within the Group.
5. The claim is cost increasing and is precluded under Clause 11 of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness.
Having given consideration to all aspects of this claim, the Court accepts that the claimants should be compensated for having to endure adverse working conditions during the construction work which was part of the total expansion and refurbishment of the main store. The Court is of the view that such work was far more than the normal refurbishment and redecoration, which the Company pointed out , is so prevalent in the retail trade.
The Court recommends that the six claimants involved in this case should be paid £250 compensation in full and final settlement of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th December, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.