INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
DUBLIN KEG DISTRIBUTION
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Sick pay
2. The Company was established in April 1998, following the decision of Heineken Ireland Limited to outsource its keg distribution nationally. The claim is on behalf of 9 members employed as drivers, helpers and forklift drivers. The Union claims that the practice in the Company was that workers were paid full pay whilst on sick leave. However, following negotiations in relation to pay and conditions of employment in November, 2001, the Union claims that the Company changed the sick pay scheme to include the following:
TheCompany reserves the right to suspend or modify the scheme if there is an increase in absenteeism levels as a result of its introduction or the costs of maintaining the scheme proves to be prohibitive.
No salary or wages are payable to an employee as of right during absence from work.
Employees with 1 year continuous permanent service are eligible to participate in the scheme.
Length of Service. Max. Benefit available
1 - 2 yr. 2 weeks.
2yrs - 5 yrs 4 weeks.
5yrs + 6 weeks.
No payment will be made by the Company in respect of the first 3 days' sickness.
The Company's position is that the above scheme has operated since September,1999, and that it was administered on an "ad hoc" basis by the Warehouse Manager. The Company also maintains that employees were informed of the situation in September, 1999, but this was disputed by the Union at the Labour Court hearing.
The Union referred the case to the Labour Court on the 16th of June, 2003, in
accordance with Section 20 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court
hearing took place on the 13th of August, 2003. The Union agreed to be bound by the
3. 1. The Union's case is not a cost-increasing claim under Sustaining Progress. The Union simply wants to maintain the sick pay scheme that was in operation since 1999.
2. No worker was issued with a copy of the sick pay scheme, as the Company claims.
3. It is unreasonable for the Company to alter a condition of employment for fear of abuse when it has admitted that there has been no abuse by the workers. Any changes to terms and conditions should be by agreement.
4. 1. The Company has operated the scheme in a fair and reasonable manner since its inception.
2. The Company has examined other distribution firms and the current scheme is not out of line with them.
3. Employees were provided with contracts of employment in September, 1999, including details of the sick pay scheme
In the absence of any definitive evidence of agreement having previously been reached on sick pay arrangements, the Court is of the view that the most appropriate course for the parties is to engage in negotiations on the introduction of a mutually acceptable scheme.
The parties should initially have direct discussions within three weeks of the date of this recommendation. Should the matter remain unresolved, it should be jointly referred to the LRC for conciliation and, if necessary, to the Court under section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th, August, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.