INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
LITTLE CHIC KNITWEAR LIMITED
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Enhanced redundancy terms.
2. The workers concerned were employed in the clothing trade. The Union has submitted a claim for enhanced redundancy terms on behalf of four of its members. The Company only paid these workers their statutory entitlement
Management states that it is not in a financial position to pay these workers enhanced redundancy terms. It claims that for the past ten years, in common with all companies in the clothing trade, that business has been in decline and unprofitable.
The Union referred the dispute to the Labour Court on the 29th October, 2002, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's Recommendation. The Court investigated the dispute on the 11th April, 2003.
3. 1. The inadequacy of the statutory entitlement paid to workers in such circumstances is the reason why the Social Partners addressed the level of such payments in the New National Agreement.
2. While the Company will plead inability to pay, it should be noted by the Court that the Company did not engage with the Union on this matter, nor did the Company offer to make its accounts or order book available for inspection.
3. The Company is still in operation, it is still producing and servicing contracts on a reduced wage bill with the remaining workforce providing greater flexibility and efficiency.
4. The workers have a right to expect that for their years of service, loyalty and commitment to a redundancy package greater than their statutory entitlement.
4. 1. The Company currently employs nine people and is struggling hard to preserve these jobs.
2. The Company lost a major contract which it had from 1997 to March, 2001. This contract accounted for about 40% of the Company's turnover.
3. When the Company lost the contract in March, 2001, management were reluctant to let staff go and carried on in the hope that something would turn up, but nothing did.
4. The staff concerned were offered alternative employment with another company but the offer was rejected by the workers.
5. The Company is not in a financial position to pay the workers above the terms of their statutory entitlements.
The Court has given careful consideration to the submissions of both sides. In making its recommendation the Court has taken account of the financial circumstances of the company and the fact that the employer secured alternative jobs for the employees being made redundant.
The Court recommends that, in addition to statutory redundancy payment already paid, the company should pay each worker a sum equivalent to the rebate applicable to his/her redundancy payment.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd April, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.