INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CLERYS AND COMPANY (1941) PLC
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
2. The dispute involves four female members of SIPTU who are employed as permanent part time staff by the Company (one has since retired). All of them have over twenty years service with the Company. The Union is seeking that the Company backfund their pension contribution so that they will be entitled to a reasonable pension. The Company refused on the basis that the cost would be prohibitive.
The matter was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission on the 12th of September, 2001.
As no agreement could be reached, the matter was referred to the Labour Court on the 1st of May, 2002 under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 10th of July, 2002. The Company did offer to make a goodwill payment of £1,000 to the worker on their retirement.
3. 1. The Company pension scheme was opened to the part-time workers in 1990. At that time there was no legal obligation to provide such a term and condition of employment, as such it was a Company benefit.
2. There is no legal obligation current or pre-occurring which obliges the Company to make retrospective pension entitlements in the manner sought.
3. It is the Company's view that this claim could be precluded under the terms of the current national wage agreement due to the cost-increasing nature of the claim. This claim is not about the introduction of a pension scheme or the improvement of an existing scheme.
4. If this claim were conceded there would be a knock on claim from other workers in similar positions.
4. 1. The Protection of Employment (Part Time Work) Act 2001 does allow for part-time workers to be included in occupational pension schemes and the four members included in this claim would qualify for pro rata entitlements.
2. All of the members involved in this claim are women.
3. It has been successfully argued that occupational pension schemes are part of the remuneration package of groups of workers.
The Court recommends that the employer's offer in respect of each of the four claimants be increased from £1,000 to €3,000.
This recommendation is based on the circumstances of the particular employees associated with the claim and is not intended to have any broader application or to have any precedent value.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd July, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.