INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Half-day's leave on last working day prior to Christmas.
2. The Company is a large multinational corporation involved in the design, manufacture and marketing of integrated circuits. It has operated in Limerick since 1976 and employs approximately one thousand three hundred workers.
Approximately fifteen years ago, the Company commenced a practice where workers were allowed to finish early on the day prior to the Christmas shutdown and receive a full day's pay. The practice was based on operational requirements and workload on the day.
Due to operational requirements and customer needs, the Company changed the practice where workers were given an extra half day in their holiday bank which could be taken on the day prior to the Christmas shutdown, or if they were required to work on this day, the half day could be taken at any other time.
The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of its members to have the right to take the half day prior to the Christmas shutdown as was the practice. The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 22nd of January, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 17th of April, 2002, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The workers have always co-operated with shift changes, department changes and work practices at the Company's request.
2. This customery half day allowed the workers concerned the opportunity to socialise with their work colleagues.
3. This half day has been custom and practice for approximately fifteen years. The workers see it as an entitlement which they do not want to give up. The option of working the full day should be on a voluntary basis.
4. 1. The competitive nature of the business and customer demands require full utilization of resources in order to survive and be profitable.
2. Taking the half day prior to Christmas is not custom and practice. There are many instances where employees worked the full day.
3. The Company believes it acted in a reasonable fashion by giving employees an additional half day per year in return for requiring them to work a full day prior to Christmas when operational requirements necessitated the full day to be worked.
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court is of the view that the practice operated by the Company in relation to the granting of a half-day's annual leave is reasonable and practicable.
The Company indicated that subject to customer and operational requirements, this leave is granted on the day prior to the Christmas shutdown, otherwise it must be taken at a later time suitable to individual employees. The Company indicated that each year, substantial notice is given to employees of proposed leave arrangements, indicating whether requirements allow for the half day to be taken prior to the Christmas shutdown period.
The Court is satisfied that the Company's current practice is reasonable and recommends that it should be accepted as the policy with regard to this leave for the future. The Court is satisfied that in deciding on the timing of this leave, the Company is in compliance with the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th April, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.