INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY AMALGAMATED TRANSPORT AND GENERAL WORKERS' UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. A severance agreement for a manager.
2. An Oige is a self-funding non-profit making association which provides cheap accommodation for tourists. The worker was appointed manager of the hostel at Ballydavid Wood, Bansha, Co. Tipperary in March, 1980. Following an inspection in February, 2001, by the fire authorities, the hostel was closed down as it was deemed unsafe. As the cost of renovating the hostel to make it fully compliant would be approximately €320,000, it was decided not to re-open the hostel. The dispute concerns the redundancy settlement for the worker. An Oige offered statutory entitlements of
€4,058 plus €1,270 giving a total of €5,328. The Union is seeking statutory entitlements plus €27,934 i.e.€1,270 per year of service. An Oige's case is that it does not have the money. The worker was paid as caretaker from February, 2001, to January, 2002, when she was made redundant. Both sides supplied figures of previous settlements to support their cases.
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 5th of March, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 19th of June, 2002, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The worker's job involved a 7-day week, 24 hours on-call service and she gave 22 years' loyal service.
2. The worker was only paid €217 per week and An Oige's offer is out of line in relation to normal severance payments. The Union was prepared to negotiate on its offer, possibly to offset the worker's earning's for 2001 against the claim.
3. An Oige made a settlement of €10,158 to another employee who had only 2 years' service. The Union believes that An Oige is selling off a number of properties. The money from these could be used to give the worker a proper severance payment.
AN OIGE'S ARGUMENTS:
4. 1. Although An Oige sympathises with the worker's situation, it cannot afford to pay more than it has already offered. It lost €240,000 on its operations for the year ended 30th of September, 2001.
2. Any money realised from the sale of properties will have to be invested in its headquarters in Dublin which is badly in need of refurbishment.
3. The worker has remained in residence at the hostel since it closed in February, 2001.
The Court has considered the written and oral submissions of the parties. The hostel was closed in January, 2001. The Court notes that since that time up to January, 2002, the worker was paid as a Caretaker. Utility household bills continue to be paid. The worker's statutory redundancy entitlement amounts to €4,058 and management proposed to pay an ex-gratia payment of €1,270.
The Court recommends a total ex-gratia payment equal to the statutory payment, i.e. payment of €2,788 in addition to the €1,270 already offered. This should be accepted in full and final settlement of this claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
12th July, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.