INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR17288/03
2. The case before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of it’s member who is employed as grade C Inspector with Iarnrod Eireann for regrading to Grade D Inspector on the basis that his role has greatly increased in responsibility. The Company rejects the claim on the basis that it is based on additional workload and not additional responsibilities which is the normal criteria for the awarding of regradings.
The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. His findings and recommendation issued on the as follows:
“I find against the worker’s claim for his position to be upgraded to Class D Inspector. While I find in favour of the Company, I believe that this matter could have been resolved or progressed much quicker if the Company had responded in a timely fashion to the worker’s correspondence. I award the worker €500 in respect of the unnecessary delay he endured in having his grievance progressed through the Industrial Relations process”
The worker was named in the Rights Commissioner’s Recommendation.
On the 18th June, 2004, the Union appealed the Rights Commissioner’s Recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 25th November, 2004
3. 1. The worker has substantially greater responsibilities in comparison to the previous job holder.
2. The workforce has increased from six people to twenty people. This is a trebling of the responsibility and workload level and not just an increase in workload. The worker has the responsibility of ensuring their safety and that all their work is completed to proper standards.
3. The Company always states that additional responsibility is the normal criteria for awarding of regradings. The Union finds the Rights Commissioners award inadequate in the circumstances.
4. 1. The position held by the worker is adequately graded for the responsibilities associated with it. The additional responsibilities referred to by the worker in the application for the upgrade were part of the position when it was previously upgraded in 1991 and are not of a nature to attract a further upgrading.
2. Any additional aspects that may have occurred since the worker took up this position in 2000 are increases in workload and thus do not warrant a regarding of his position.
3. If this claim is to be conceded it has the potential to be the cause of knock on claims from supervisors at the workers current grade and at the grade he is currently seeking. The award, given for the delays, by the Right’s Commissioner was unnecessary and will lead to a rash of similar claims anytime there is a delay for any reason and irrespective of where the fault for the delay lies.
Based on the information supplied by both parties and the views expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court does not see justification for the worker's claim for an upgrading from Class C to Class D. Therefore the Court concurs with the findings of the Rights Commissioner and upholds this part of his recommendation.
However, the Court recommends that an agreed formal evaluation system should be put in place for the processing of grading claims; the Court recommends that both parties should discuss and agree on the introduction of such a scheme.
The Court notes that the Company did not appeal the Rights Commissioner's recommendation, accordingly the Court does not see grounds for overturning the Rights Commissioner's recommendation that the sum of €500 should be paid to the worker for the delay caused in processing his claim. The Court upholds this part of the Rights Commissioner's recommendation.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
9th December, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Joanne O'Connor, Court Secretary.