INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Attendance Bonus
2. The Company operates an attendance bonus scheme which is calculated on a monthly basis. The following absences are discounted for the purpose of the scheme:-
- Annual Leave
- Compassionate/Special Leave
- Discretionary Leave
- Military Duty Leave
- Jury Duty/Subpoena/Witness Summons
- Day of accident on the premises
Following the introduction of the Parental Leave Act, 1998, the Company sought to re-negotiate the terms of the attendance bonus scheme in light of the "Force Majeure" provisions of the Act. The Company claims that it is prepared to negotiate a change to the perfect attendance scheme to include Force Majeure Leave, in return for offsetting measures in relation to discretionary leave.
The Union rejected the Company's proposals. As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held on he 30th June, 2001 but no agreement was reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 10th August, 2001 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 18th September, 2001 (the earliest date suitable to the parties).
3. 1. There is no justification for disimproving agreed conditions of employment in order to facilitate a statutory right.
2. Section 14(4) of the Parental Leave Act states that employees on Force Majeure leave are regarded as being in employment, and therefore, retain all
employment rights. The Union contends that access to all schemes agreed in the employment is one of those employment rights.
3. The decision not to include Force Majeure Leave in the attendance bonus scheme goes against the letter and spirit of the Parental Leave Act. Furthermore, it
goes against the objective contained in the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (P.P.F) to develop family friendly policies.
4. 1. The Company is ahead of its time in the provision of emergency leave for its staff. The inclusion of Force Majeure leave as a concession is already adding an additional cost to the Company.
2. The scheme is already very generous by comparison to similar type schemes. Other such schemes generally provide for modest payments, gifts or entry into
3. The Company is not willing to increase its costs further, but is willing to agree to changes to the perfect attendance scheme to offset the cost of including
Force Majeure Leave.
4. The Parental Leave Act, which includes Force Majeure Leave is a statutory instrument and all employees in the Company are granted their rights under this Act.
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court considers that the Company's request to re-negotiate the terms of the attendance bonus scheme as a result of the introduction offorce majeureleave under the Parental Leave Act, 1998 is reasonable. Therefore, the Court recommends that the parties should enter into discussions on amending the perfect attendance scheme to reflect the additional benefit by some reasonable offsetting measures.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th September, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.