INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
GROSVENOR CLEANING SERVICES
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Redundancy terms
2. The claim is on behalf of 10 workers and is for redundancy terms in excess of statutory payments. The Union is seeking 5 weeks' pay per year of service plus statutory.
The Company took over the contract at the Revenue Commissioners' Office in Nenagh from the previous contractor, Noonans, in December, 1998. In August, 2001, the Company notified the Revenue Commissioners that an additional 5 hours per week were required to clean a recently refurbished filing room. The Company was prepared to absorb the additional 5 hours until the re-tendering of the contract in March, 2002. In the event, the Company did not take on the new contract for economic reasons. The Company which did win the contract declined a transfer under the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations, resulting in a redundancy situation for the 10 workers.
The parties met to discuss the situation but the Company rejected the claim for enhanced redundancy. The dispute was referred to the Labour Relations Commission and a conciliation conference took place. As the parties did not reach agreement, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 30th of October, 2002, in accordance with Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 20th May, 2003, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
UNION'S ARGUMENTS :
3. 1. The workers concerned performed their duties in a diligent manner and should receive an appropriate payment in recognition of this.
2. It is not enough for the Company to quote custom and practice in the business in the case of redundancy, i.e. statutory payment only.
3. Cleaning companies are no different in many ways to other small businesses. Indeed, in some ways they are better off as the outlay etc. required is very small.
COMPANY'S ARGUMENTS :
4. 1. The Company made very little profit from the contract after the redundancy money had been paid, (details supplied to the Court). Any further redundancy payment would render the contract uneconomic.
2. It is a long-standing precedent in the industry that in the event of redundancies, only statutory is paid.
3. The Company believes that the claim is cost increasing and is precluded under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness (PPF).
The Court has considered the submissions of both sides. The Court notes that the Company was successful in retaining the cleaning contract with the client, but chose not to fulfil it under the terms laid down. This situation varies from the norm in this sector and, accordingly, the Court recommends that 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
5th June, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.