INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
MANGAN BROTHERS LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's recommendation IR5759/01/GF.
2. The worker concerned has been employed by the Company for twenty seven years. Since 1985, he was employed exclusively as a driver. The dispute arose when the Company decided to engage a contractor to carry out deliveries, thus replacing the Company van.
The Company argues that the worker concerned was offered suitable alternative employment as a General Operative. The Union maintains that the worker was not offered suitable alternative employment and is seeking an acceptable redundancy package on his behalf.
The issue was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. He recommended that the Company and the Union meet to negotiate a redundancy package in line with previous redundancy settlements within the group. The Rights Commissioner's recommendation issued on the 6th of November, 2001.
The Company appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 10th of December, 2001, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court heard the appeal on the 11th of June, 2002, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The worker concerned was employed as a General Operative. His duties included merchandising, customer care, cleaning, order picking and van driving.
2. Prior to engaging a contractor to take over deliveries, the work concerned was asked several times to apply for a HGV licence thus, eliminating the need for a contractor. He refused to apply for the licence.
3. A redundancy situation does not exist in this case as the worker concerned was offered suitable alternative employment as a General Operative with the exclusion of driving duties.
4. 1. The worker concerned was employed exclusively as a driver for fourteen years.
2. When the worker concerned was approached by the Company to obtain a HGV licence, he was not in a position to fund driving lessons. He asked the Company for financial assistance with the lessons but it was not forthcoming.
3. The worker concerned was not offered suitable alternative employment. Therefore, he should receive an acceptable redundancy package.
It is clear from the Company's submission that they wished the claimant to obtain a HGV licence and that, had he done so, driving duties could have been made available to him. It is also clear that the reason why the claimant declined to obtain such a licence was that he was not made aware that the costs involved would be carried by the Company.
In the Court's view, the best approach to resolving this dispute is for the Company to provide the claimant with the necessary training for him to acquire a HGV licence and to meet all of the costs involved. If he succeeds in obtaining the licence, the claimant should then be assigned to driving duties.
The necessary training should commence as soon as possible and in any event within three months of the date of this decision.
The Rights Commissioner's Recommendation is amended accordingly.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th June, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.