INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 33(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1946
ADSTON LIMITED T/A MJ SMITH& CO.
(REPRESENTED BY CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FEDERATION)
- AND -
MR THOMAS SMITH
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Interpretation of an Agreement
2. On the 18th January, 2000 a complaint was received by the Labour Court from Thomas Smith that the Company was in breach of the Construction Industry Registered Employment Agreement (REA) on Pensions Assurance and Sick Pay in not paying him sick pay while he was out of work through illness in May, 1999. The worker was employed in the Company as a carpenter /joiner from 1992 until April, 2000. The company states that it is a joinery manufacturer of windows, doors, interiors and exteriors of shops, pubs etc. In mid 1997 it commenced some general contracting work and later employed general operatives for site work. In April 2000, two company employees became directors of the manufacturing division which became a separate entity, trading under the name of MFM (Joinery) LTD.The Company rejected the worker's claim on the basis that it was not an employer within the terms of the Agreement. On the 1st February, 2000 the worker wrote to the Labour Court seeking an interpretation of the Agreement. A Court hearing was held in Cavan on the 6th September 2,000.
3. 1. The Company is a building contractor and is so advertised in local publications. It has carried out work for the Cavan U.D.C.
2. The Worker's duties as a carpenter included working both on sites and in the workshop. He spent approximately one third of his work time, in the early days, on sites. The worker was at all times employed by Adston Limited and this name appeared in his P60.
3. When he submitted a Medical Certificate for a 4 week period of illness in May, 1999 the worker was informed by Management that "there was no sickness benefit scheme in operation in this Company at present" and that he had no entitlement to sick pay.
4. This is in contradiction with the Third Schedule of the REA which states " Employers who fail or neglect to make the authorised deductions will be liable for the total contribution required to ensure that the workers sick pay benefits are maintained in full during the period of service with such employer"
5. The worker's trade union (SIPTU) wrote to the CIF on 8th June, 1999 seeking the inclusion of all employees in the CIF pensions assurance and Sick Pay Scheme and the payments due to the worker, without success. The Union wrote to the CIF on 25th November, 1999 again seeking assistance, again without success.
6. The worker seeks a definitive recommendation on this issue. It is his clear understanding that the two elements of the business are in fact combined under Adston Limited.
4. 1. The Registered Employment Agreement (Construction Industry Pensions Assurance and Sick Pay) states:
"This Agreement applies to workers, both male and female, who are employed in one of the under-mentioned capacities by a Building or Civil Engineering Firm as defined in the first Schedule hereto and to their employers".
Mr Smith was employed in 1992 to work in the company's workshop. He continued working in the workshop until he terminated his employment in April 2000. Therefore, according to the Agreement, Mr Smith was not employed by a "Building or Civil Engineering Firm"
The Agreement further defines a" Building or Civil Engineering Firm" as follows:
"For the purpose of this Agreement a building firm means a firm the principal business of which is one or a combination of any of the following activities:
(a) the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, painting, decoration, fitting of glass in buildings and demolition of buildings:
(b) the installation, alteration, fitting, repair, painting, decoration, maintenance and demolition in any building, or its site, of articles, fittings, pipes containers, tubes, wires or instruments (including central heating apparatus, machinery and fuel containers connected thereto) for the heating, lighting , power or water supply of such buildings:
(c) (i) the clearing and laying out of sites for buildings.
(ii) the construction of foundation on such sites.
(iii) the construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance within such sites of all sewers, drains and other works for use in connection with sanitation of buildings or the disposal of waste.
(iv) the construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance on such sites of boundary walls, railings and fences for the use, protection or ornamentation of buildings.
(v) the making of roads and paths within the boundaries of such sites.
(d) the manufacture, alteration, fitting, and repair of articles of worked stone
(including rough punched granit and stone), granite, marble, slate and
As can be seen above, the type of work engaged in by the company is not
mentioned in this Agreement and, therefore, neither Mr Smith nor the company
were covered under the REA (Construction Industry Pensions Assurance and Sick
2. The company is a member of the Joinery Manufacturers Association.
3. The worker reported to a fixed place of work every morning. At the end of each
week he received his wages based on an hourly rate. General Operatives travel to
various sites and are in receipt of allowances. Their hours of work are also
different. Mr Smith's terms and conditions remained the same during the term
of his employment.
4. Mr Thomas Smith was employed by the company in its workshop as a
joiner/carpenter. Adston Ltd's expansion into general contracting in 1997 did
not in any way affect the terms and conditions of Mr Smith's employment.
Indeed, the manufacturing workshop now trades under the name of MFM
(Joinery) Ltd. The Registered Employment Agreement (Construction Industry
Pensions Assurance and Sick Pay) makes no reference to craftsmen employed in a
manufacturing workshop and, therefore, the company is not affected by the
The Court, in light of the evidence presented , finds that Adston Limited T/A MJ Smifh & Co, does not come within the definition as described in the Second Schedule of the Registered Agreement.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28 September, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.