INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
PENNYS - LIMERICK
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Inconvenience allowance.
2. In June 2002, the Company announced a major refurbishment of its store in O'Connell Street, Limerick. The work continued until the end of September, 2002. The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of ninety staff employed at the store for compensation for the inconvenience endured during the refurbishment of the store. 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 21st of November, 2002, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd of April, 2003, the earliest date suitable to the parties. At the conciliation conference the Company indicated that it would be prepared to pay €2,000 to the staff to be divided as the Union decided.
Following the conference, the Company made an informal offer of €4,000 to be divided as the staff decided. The offer was rejected.
3. 1. The work was continuous and ongoing between June, 2002 and September, 2002 which resulted in considerable noise, dust and disturbance.
2. Some staff suffered infections caused by inhaling dust.
3. The staff concerned should receive €100 net each in compensation for
the inconvenience and disturbance endured during the refurbishment.
4. 1. The renovations at the store have provided staff with a better work environment
and improved facilities.
2. Contractors were instructed to keep disturbance to staff and customers to
a minimum. All work was carried out in a professional manner and under
3. Management did not opt to close the store during renovations. If it had done so,
staff would have been laid off with loss of earnings.
4. It is not Company policy to pay compensation to staff for disturbance caused during refurbishment of its stores.
The Company argues that it is not its policy to pay compensation for refurbishment of its stores, and that every effort is made to minimise disruption to the employees.
The Union argues that the disruption was quite extensive and that the Company had offered the sum of €4,000 to the employees following conciliation at the Labour Relations Commission.
The Court is being asked by the Company to reject the Union's claim as being without merit while at the same time it would appear to have accepted the merit of the case by making at least two offers.
The Union on its part is arguing for the sum of €100 per employee despite the fact that it was claimed by the Company that it would have settled for €5,000 at the Labour Relations Commission.
The Court having considered all aspects of the case before it recommends that the Company offer of €4,000 be increased to €4,500 in full and final settlement of this case.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th April, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.