INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
BANK OF IRELAND
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BANK OFFICIALS' ASSOCIATION)
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Parting package
2. The dispute before the Court concerns an application by the worker for an improved "voluntary parting package" specifically for pension purposes. The Bank employs 17,000 staff and has its headquarters in Dublin. The worker was employed by the Bank from 1978 until 1999. In 1998 the worker initiated discussions with the Bank regarding his wish to leave the bank to pursue an alternative career.
In 1999 the worker accepted the Bank's offer of a voluntary parting package and left its employment on the on 3rd October 1999. The worker sought and was given written confirmation from the Bank as to the manner in which any enhanced future parting package, introduced between the date of his departure and the end of the financial year , would be applied retrospectively to his voluntary parting package. In May 2000 the Bank introduced an improved voluntary parting package and the worker sought application of terms of this scheme. The Bank refused to apply these terms.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 4th of May 2001 in accordance with Section 20 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act ,1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on 13th July 2001. The worker agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
- 1. It is not credible that the scheme introduced in May 2000 was not under consideration by the Bank at the time of the worker's departure.
- 2. When discussions took place on the possibility of an improved package being introduced , the Bank misrepresented the developments that were taking place at the time. The worker at all times during the negotiations relied advice of the personnel manager.
3. The Bank's argument that it is not possible to cater for the worker's request for an enhanced package under the criteria agreed with the Revenue Commissioners is untenable.
- 4. The circumstances leading up to the worker's departure from the Bank (bank raids, workers refusal to accept transfer, grievance regarding treatment during a family crisis, ill health) should have been taken into consideration by the Bank in resolving the issue of the Parting Package.
5. The Bank by extending a guarantee to the worker , beyond the date of his departure, accepted a duty to the worker beyond his date of departure from the Bank.
- 1. Staff do not have an entitlement to a parting package.
- 2. The Bank is refusing to apply the improved voluntary parting package (May 2000) as it is outside the terms of the agreement made with the worker at the time of his departure.
- 3. The terms of the Scheme as agreed with the Revenue Commissioners preclude former employees.
- 4. The Bank did not misrepresented the position on the parting package in discussions or correspondence with the worker.
5. During the period January 1999 - May 2000, 28 officials at the same rank as the Worker departed the area of the Bank in which he worked - without lump sum payment.
The Court has considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties.
While both sides acted in good faith, it is clear that neither party was privy to the discussions going on within the organisation during the period when the negotiations were taking place.
The Court is satisfied that the Company representative acted in good faith at all times, but that he was not aware of the full picture.
Having considered all the background information, the Court finds some merit in the employee's claim and recommends that the parties meet to endeavour to reach an agreement satisfactory to both sides.
If they fail to reach agreement, the Court will make a definitive recommendation on the substantive matter in dispute.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th August, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.