INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
SOUTH EASTERN HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Claim for travel expenses.
2. The worker has been employed as a home help by the South Eastern Health Board in the Wexford Community Care area since 1972.
The dispute before the Court concerns a claim for payment of car travel expenses incurred by the worker during the period 26th of September, 1996, to 31st of December, 1999. The worker referred the issue to the Labour Court on the 7th of June, 2001, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd of October, 2001. The worker agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
3. 1. Travel expenses were previously paid to three people employed by the Board as home helps in the Wexford area. The claimant should not be treated any less favourably.
2. The worker is claiming payment of travel expenses for using her car in the course of her duty from the 26th of September, 1996, until the 31st of December, 1999.
4. 1. The three people referred to by the claimant, who were employed as Permanent Home Help staff, received payment of travel expenses prior to April, 1990 and prior to any formal agreement being made.
2. In October, 2000, an agreement was concluded which provided for payment of travel expenses to home helps. Prior to this, travel expenses were not a feature of the claimant's written terms and conditions of employment.
3. The worker concerned received travel expenses from the 1st of January, 2000, as a concession by the Board.
The Court, having considered the submissions of the parties together with the subsequent correspondence, is of the view that payments made in the past were of an ad-hoc nature and could not be construed as having general application to all home help carers.
The Court notes that the payments referred to by the claimant ceased in April, 1990, and that a formal payment structure was universally applied from October, 2000, following a negotiated agreement. As a special concession it was agreed to pay travelling expenses in her case with effect from 1st January, 2000.
In all the circumstances of this case, the Court does not recommend concession of the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd December, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.