INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY MANDATE)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR1800/00/CW.
2. The worker has been employed by the Company since 1982. In 1985, he received a personal allowance of £5 (6.35 euros) per week. The worker received this allowance until March 1999 when a new agreement was reached between the Company and the Union. The Company claimed that the £5 (6.35 euros) was subsumed by the new agreement.
- The dispute was referred to the Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 25th February, 2001, the Rights Commissioner recommended:-
(The worker was named in the Rights Commissioners Recommendation).
On the 6th March, 2001, the Union appealed the Rights Commissioner's recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969, and the Court heard the appeal on the 7th June 2001.
3. 1. The agreement was quite specific in regard to what payments would disappear i.e. bonus and keyholding. The £5 (6.35 euros) paid to the worker was neither of these, it is a personal allowance.
2. There is no agreement between the Union and the Employer that allows for the removal of a personal allowance.
3. The personal allowance was specific to the worker and did not form part of any discussions which took place between the Employer and the Union.
4. 1. The Company contend that the 1999 agreement abolished all personal allowances for Post of Responsibility positions.
2. Staff received substantial increases in their wages as a direct result of the agreement.
3. The agreement was negotiated between the Union and the Company.
Once again the dispute which has been referred to the Court has highlighted the difference of interpretation which exists from the Company/Unions agreement of 1999. The Union has referred a claim to the Labour Court on behalf of a worker, as confusion has arisen over the application of the agreement in his case. The Court accepts that the wording of the agreement has given rise to this ambiguity. The Court also finds that the delay in processing this claim lends weight to the argument that the interpretation of the agreement includes the consolidation of the personal allowance.
The Court is satisfied that the interpretation of the negotiated and signed agreement was to establish uniform basic rates by a consolidation of various elements of pay.
While the agreement did not specifically mention personal allowances, the Court is satisfied that the company have applied the correct interpretation of the agreement. Therefore, the Court upholds the Rights Commissioner's recommendation.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th June, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.