INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
BORD GAIS EIREANN
- AND -
MANUFACTURING, SCIENCE, FINANCE
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Payment of bonus and performance appraisal scheme.
2. In June, 2000, the parties reached a comprehensive agreement called Response 2000 (R.2000). Amongst the provisions was the introduction of a new pay structure to replace a number of separate grading structures - from 83 grades to 11 bands, and an external comparison with comparator companies. R.2000 was also to introduce performance related pay for middle and senior management. The workers involved in this claim are on bands 2, 3 and 4. Prior to finalising R.2000, the parties attended a Labour Court hearing and LCR16370 issued in December, 1999. In it, the Court recommended that the parties should discuss and agree a framework for the introduction of performance appraisal.
The Union is claiming that the Company has refused all requests to discuss the method of performance management. The Union also contends that the Company has withheld part of the agreed bonus payment, with an average of 94.5% paid in 2001. The Union is seeking that the part of the bonus withheld should be paid immediately and that the Company should engage with the Union on the method of performance management to implement the bonus payment agreed in R.2000.
The Company's case is that payout was only sanctioned by the Chief Executive Officer on foot of confirmations from each Head of Unit / Function that "personal scorecards" (individual performance contracts) were in place in respect of every bonus-eligible manager for the calendar year 2001.
The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 12th of September, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 22nd of November, 2002.
3. 1. The Company has no right to withhold any part of the agreed bonus to an individual through the operation of a scoring system that is in breach of the R.2000 agreement.
2. The Company used lower quartile comparisons for the grades involved in this claim and medium or higher quartile comparisons for other grades.
4. 1. The Company has adopted a balanced scorecard approach as its corporate management framework and applied this across the various management teams to produce personal versions.
2. No formal system had been put in place up to the end of 2000. The parties have met on many occasions and the Company has kept the Union up to date on the implementation of the balanced scorecard system.
The Court has considered the submissions of both sides to this dispute. The Court, in LCR No: 16370 on the 3rd December 1999, recommended that:-
"on the issue of performance management, both parties should discuss and agree a framework for the introduction of performance appraisal. In making this recommendation the Court is conscious of the sentiments expressed by the Company and the assurances given in Appendix 5 of their written submission to the Court regarding the process to be used in assessing the performance and in developing a plan for the future".
The Court is satisfied that, while consultations took place on the new performance management scheme, an agreement was not reached with the Union.
The Union has raised issues of concern to their members regarding the operation of the scheme as implemented by the Company. Therefore, the Court again recommends that both parties should discuss the performance appraisal scheme with a view to reaching an agreement.
The Court recommends that these discussions should be completed by no later than the end of March, 2003.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
12th December, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.