INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
TYCO HEALTHCARE IRELAND LTD.
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Application of floating day on Friday
2. The Company manufactures medical devices and employs approximately 641 at its Tullamore plant. It is a subsidiary of the Tyco Corporations, a U.S. Multinational Company which acquired the plant in February, 1998.
The Union states that employees currently have twenty days annual leave, seven of which may be taken as floating days. The value of annual leave days Monday to Thursday is eight hours. However, if taken on a Friday this value is given as seven hours. The Union claims that this discriminates against members taking annual leave on a Friday.
Management rejected the Union's claim and stated that the current practice has been in place since the introduction of the 39 hour week.
As no agreement was possible between the parties the dispute was referred to the Conciliation Service of the Labour Relations Commission. A conciliation conference was held but agreement was not reached. The dispute was referred to the Labour Court in January, 2002, in accordance with Section 26 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. The Court investigated the dispute on the 27th May, 2003, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
UNION'S ARGUMENTS :
3. 1. Workers taking a holiday on a Friday (7 hours ) find themselves unfairly disadvantaged in terms of the number of hours that they would normally work and the number of hours that are deducted ( 8 hours )from their holiday entitlement.
2. The fairest way to approach this problem would be to convert holidays to hours and deduct the hours taken from the hours allocation.
3. The Union does not accept that a change in the current arrangements would lead to a higher concentration of applications for floating days on Fridays.
4. 1. The claim is fatuous in that the issue levels itself out. The employee gains when the floating day is taken on any day apart from Friday, whereas the Company gains when the leave is taken on a Friday.
2. Labour Court Recommendation LCR 15010 upheld the Company's position on the calculation of annual leave. Also, a similar situation was endorsed in LCR 14954 where the Court found that the arrangement reached on the reduction of the working week was agreed to by both sides.
3. The claim is without merit on the grounds that it is cost increasing in nature, has no statutory of legislative basis and has been rejected by the Labour Court in two instances in the past.
The Court has considered the submissions of both sides and recommends the introduction of a holiday bank of hours for the floating days, which the company allows as part of its annual leave arrangement. The parties should enter into discussion on the formulation of a bank of hours, which should be operated, on a practical and manageable basis. The Union indicated their acceptance of:-
- a limit on the number of Fridays which may be taken off,
and similar to the current arrangement,
- a departmental threshold, and
- a minimum number of hours per day.
The Court recommends that the company may impose the limit on the number of Fridays, which may be included.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th June, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.