INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
IRISH RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Compensation for loss of earnings.
2. The worker has lodged a claim against his former employer for (1) loss of earnings and (2) unfair dismissal. He was employed as a Supervisor/Stilesman for many years. The worker claims that he has been discriminated against because of his age and states that people over the "age limit" were still being employed.
Management rejected the claim. It stated that pursuant to a Code of Practice for Safety in Sports Grounds, which was introduced by the Department of Education in 1995, it was recommended that all stewards should be between 18 and 55 years' of age and that stilesmen could work up until the age of 65. The claimant was over 65 in 1995.
The worker referred the dispute to the Labour Court under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
Management indicated by letter that it would not be attending the Labour Court hearing.
3. 1. The worker has given thirty-five years of loyal and honest service as a Supervisor/Stilesman to his former employers and believes that he has been the victim of discrimination
2. The worker should have been employed over the last eighty matches as other people over the "age limit" were still being employed.
3. The worker is seeking compensation for the loss of earnings and for unfair dismissal.
The Court finds it regrettable that the IRFU failed to attend the hearing to investigate this dispute. It did communicate with the Court by letter. The reasons given for not attending were (a) that the IRFU is not party to a Trade Union Agreement with any Union of which the claimant is a member and (b) that the claimant was not an employee of IRFU.
The Court is satisfied that the claimant was, at the material time, a worker within the meaning of Section 23 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. He is therefore entitled to refer his dispute to the Court and the Court is entitled to investigate the dispute and recommend how it should be resolved.
The claimant had long and satisfactory service as a stilesperson and up to 1995 there was no mandatory retirement age. Whilst the IRFU were entitled to introduce a retirement age at that time, it is the Court's view that the manner in which the decision was implemented in respect of the claimant did not give due recognition to his long and loyal service to the Association.
In all the circumstances the Court recommends that the IRFU pay the claimant an ex-gratia lump sum of €230 in full and final settlement of his claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th MAY, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.