INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
CARROLLS FOOD SERVICES LIMITED
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR553/99CW.
2. The worker is currently employed as executive chef/manager by the Company at its industrial catering unit at Selectron, in Clonshaugh Industrial Estate, Dublin 5. The catering contract at Selectron was previously operated by Sutcliffe Catering (Ireland) Limited, but was taken over by the Company on the 2nd of November, 1998. The worker was transferred under the European Community (safeguarding of employees' rights on the transfer of undertaking) Regulation 1980 (SI 306 of 1980).
Following news of the proposed transfer, a meeting took place between the Managing Director of the Company and the Union representative on the 15th of October, 1998. At the meeting, the Union representative told the Managing Director that he would be pursuing an ex-gratia payment for the worker from Sutcliffe Catering, in recognition of his 27 years' service, and that he would be seeking a similar payment from the Company when the worker transferred to it. The Union representative believed that he had an understanding with the Company that a payment would be made. The Company's view is that the meeting was informal, and that no commitment was made regarding any payment to the worker. It also sees the claim as cost-increasing under Partnership 2000.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner following correspondence between the parties, and his recommendation is as follows:
"I recommend that the Union and the worker accept that there is no entitlement to any payment by the transferee in this instance."
(The worker was named in the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation.)
The Union appealed the Recommendation to the Labour Court on the 4th of October, 1999, in accordance with Section 13 (9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 14th of January, 2000.
3. 1. The Union's understanding at the meeting on the 15th of October was that if it was successful in achieving a payment from Sutcliffe Catering for the worker, then a similar payment would be made by the Company when he transferred to it.
2. The claim is for a once-off payment, and would not be cost-increasing under Partnership 2000.
3. The Company did not dismiss the idea of a making a payment when the claim was made at the meeting on the 15th of October.
4. 1. The meeting on the 15th of October was informal. No agreement was reached with the Union about making a payment to the worker.
2. An ex-gratia payment on transfer to a new employer is without precedent. No amount of money was mentioned at the hearing on the 15th of October, nor was there any subsequent letter from the Union confirming an agreement.
3. Conceding such a payment would have a serious knock-on effect for the Company and, indeed, the contract catering industry as a whole. The claim is cost-increasing under Partnership 2000.
Having carefully considered the submissions made by the parties, the Court finds no basis on which it could disagree with the conclusions and recommendations of the Rights Commissioner.
Accordingly, the Recommendation is affirmed, and the appeal disallowed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th January, 2000.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.