INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
WOODPRINT CRAFT LIMITED
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY AMICUS)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Pay Increase.
2. The dispute concerns a worker who commenced employment in the Company as a letterpress printer approximately 35 years ago. He secured a number of promotions over the years in the employment and in 2000 was appointed to the Board of Directors. The worker claims that he did not receive a general pay increase in accordance with the National Wage Agreement between 2000 and 2001. On the 6th September, 2004 he submitted a complaint to the Labour Court under Section 20 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Court hearing was held on the 24th November, 2004.
3. 1.The worker made numerous requests throughout the 1990's to have his terms and conditions reviewed and in 1999 he reached agreement with the Company to have this review completed. The agreement provided that the worker would be paid all future National Wage Increases (NWA). He did receive increases under the NWA up to early 2000 but in the period between May, 2000 and May, 2001 the increases due under the NWA were not paid.
2.The worker estimates that by not receiving the appropriate NWA increases he has lost approximately €10,000 and his current salary is €335 p.w. less than what it should be. In not receiving the increases due there are also implications in relation to the claimant's pension entitlements. The claimant is seeking full retrospection of this money and restoration of his agreed terms negotiated in 1999.
4. 1.The salary and remuneration package of Directors contains elements of base pay, individual dividends and profit sharing, as well as travel and business expense compensation. The pay determination of base pay for senior management is by individual annual determination on the basis of contribution and the business performance. The trading performance of the Company in recent years has been precarious and the Company has undertaken a recovery plan. Details are supplied to the Court of the claimant's remuneration package since 1999. The claimant's base pay is now increased by 24% over the 1999 position. This places him in the top three in the employment for Company Directors base pay.
2. The Company policy is to apply market rate base pay increases, subject to affordability and the financial position of the Company. It is the practice in most companies that the pay of senior management and Directors would be treated differently in terms of the amounts of any increase, and the duration and timing cycle, than those for collectively bargained staff.
From the information supplied to the Court, it notes that post May 2000, the Group Chief Executive advised the claimant that the structure for payment determination would have to accord with the Company Remuneration policy for Directors, whereby total remuneration is periodically reviewed and determined by the Group Chief Executive, without reference to National Wage Agreements.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court is of the view that the claimant's status as a Director includes a remuneration package which includes elements other than national wage increases on basic pay. The Court is satisfied that the sum total of these elements far exceeds any loss that he may have received as a result of not having been paid increases in line with national wage agreements. Therefore, the Court is of the view that the claim lacks sustainability, and accordingly, rejects the claim.
The Court is of the view that the Company should have made the claimant's position much clearer to him and not have allowed his concern regarding increases in his remuneration package remain the subject of dispute, for such a long period of time.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21st December, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.