INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
LAKE COMMUNICATIONS LIMITED
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR8617/02/TB.
2. The Company designs and supplies wired and wireless communications products.
The claimant was employed by the Company as a Senior Buyer in the Operations Department from the 3rd of December, 2001. Her employment was terminated on the 8th of April, 2002.
In March, 2002 due to a downturn in business the Company proposed that a number employees would be made redundant including the claimant. The claimant states that a secondsenior buyer was employed in February, 2002 and remained in employment even though she was made redundant. The Company argues that there was only a requirement for one buyer and the claimant did not have the necessary experience and skills to be the sole buyer.
The issue was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 24th of September, 2002the Rights Commissioner issued his recommendation as follows:-
"I consider that the claimant had reasonable grounds for expecting that in the event of a reduction in numbers that she as the most senior buyer in the department would be kept on in preference to somebody who was employed after she was.
I recommend that she be paid an additional €2000 in compensation."
The Company appealed the recommendation on the 30th of October, 2002, the claimant appealed the recommendation on the 1st of November, 2002 on the basis that the recommendation was not implemented. The recommendation was appealed to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 6th of March, 2003, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. Due to the downturn in business the redundancies were necessary.
2. There is only a requirement for one buyer in the department.
3. The claimant did not have the necessary experience and skills required to be the sole buyer in the department.
4. 1. The Company knew that the redundancies would occur, yet they employed another senior buyer.
2. The claimant was the most senior buyer within the department.
3. The reason given for the redundancy was due to a downturn in business, and not due to the lack of experience and skills of the claimant.
In the circumstance of this particular claimant the amount of additional compensation recommended by the Rights Commissioner is not unreasonable.
The amount should be classified as an ex-gratia payment in addition to the compensation already paid on the implementation of the redundancy.
The appeal is disallowed and the recommendation of the Rights Commissioner is affirmed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th March, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.