INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 33(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1946
ELLIOTT ENGINEERING LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Interpretation Of The Construction Industry Registered Employment Agreement.
2. The worker concerned commenced employment with the Company as a welder in 1983. In the early to mid 1990's he took on the role of lorry driver and assisted on other work from time to time as requested. His employment terminated in March, 2000. The dispute concerns the Union's application to the Court for an interpretation of the Construction Industry Registered Employment Agreement (Pensions, Insurance and Sick Pay). The Union claims that the Company is in breech of the REA by failing to register the worker in the CIF Pension Scheme. The Company's position is that neither the employee or the employer are covered by the REA and, therefore, there is no obligation on the Company to include its employees in the Pension Scheme. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 7th of February 2001.
3. 1. When the worker commenced employment with the Company in 1983, he presented his pension card to the wages section as he had been covered under the CIF Pension Scheme in his previous employment. Subsequently when he raised the issue of joining the scheme he was told that he was not working on site.
2. During his employment the worker was required to perform duties in the workshop and operate on construction sites in addition to his driving duties.
3. The Company argues that it is a manufacturing company with the percentage of work in manufacturing in the region of 50% and 50% site work. It claims that it is therefore not obliged to adhere to the conditions of the CIF Pension Scheme.
4. The administrator of the CIF Pension Scheme advised the Union that, as a general guide, to refer to the first Schedule of the agreement which defines a firm covered by the REA as a firm whose principle business is one of those listed in that Schedule. Principle business is normally interpreted as the business that the firm derives more than 50% of its turnover from one of the activities referred to in the first Schedule.
5. It is the Union's view that Elliott Engineering conforms to the guidelines set out as up to 50% of the Company's turnover is derived from construction site work.
6. The Union is seeking a determination that the worker has an entitlement to be covered by the provision of the scheme and that the Company was remiss in not ensuring that he was covered for pension purposes during the period of his employment.
7. The Company's refusal to register the worker in the CIF Pension Scheme in discriminatory and contrary to good employment practice. The fact that a substantial number of its employees are covered under the scheme underlines this injustice.
4. 1. The Company as a sheet metal manufacturer is a member of the Sheet Metal Manufacturers Association. This association is not a member of the National Joint Industrial Council for the Construction Industry. Therefore, the member companies of this association are not covered by the Pension Assurance and Sick Pay Registered Employment Agreement for the Construction Industry.
2. Section 2 of the Registered Employment Agreement relating to 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 Building or Civil Engineering firms as defined in the first Schedule hereto and to their employers."
Elliott Engineering is not a building or civil engineering firm. It is a sheet metal manufacturing company.
3. The worker for the duration of his employment worked either in the factory as a fitter welder/fabricator or as a lorry driver.
4. The Sheet Metal Manufacturers Association negotiates separately with the trade unions on rates of pay and conditions of employment. The Sheetmetal Workers Union of Ireland which represents the sheetmetal craft workers employed by members of the Sheet Metal Manufacturers Association is not covered by the Registered Employment Agreement.
5. The Registered Employment Agreement is applicable only in circumstances where both the employer and employee are covered by this agreement. Therefore, there is no obligation on the Company to include its employees in the Pensions Assurance and Sick Pay Scheme for the construction industry.
The Court having considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties finds that this Company does not fall within the definition of Companies covered by the Construction Industry Registered Employment Agreement. The Court therefore rejects the Union's claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26 February 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.