INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
NATIONAL DISABILITY AUTHORITY
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
2. The worker was employed by the National Rehabilitation Board (NRB) as a Principal Psychologist from June 1987 to June 2000. In June 2000 the NRB was dissolved by Statute. All employees were transferred to various public bodies. The worker was transferred to the National Disability Authority (NDA). In June 2001 the worker applied to the NDA to resign under the terms of the Local Government (Superannuation) Act on the grounds that his post had been abolished and/or that his current position had resulted in a substantial and detrimental change in his position.
In December, 2001 the worker received correspondence from NDA stating that his application was not acceptable and indicating that other than for payroll purposes he was not an employee of NDA and any claim should be made to NEPS. Following receipt of this correspondence he then applied to the Department of Education and Science on the same terms.
The worker is arguing his right to resign under Section 66 of the Local Government (Superannuation) Consolidation Act, 1998.
As the claim could not be resolved locally, the Union referred the worker’s dispute to the Labour Court on the 1st August, 2005 in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 22nd September, 2005.
3.1 The worker was transferred to the NDA when the NRB was dissolved in 2000. His employer is now the NDA. The NDA should have entered into discussions with the worker upon his application to retire under Section 66 of the Local Government (Superannuation) (Consolidation) Act 1998.
2. The worker no longer holds the office of Principal Psychologist in the NRB. Since it was abolished he has no contact with National Education Psychological Service (NEPS), the Department of Education and Science or with NDA. Since the dissolution of the NRB his conditions of employment have changed considerably which makes him eligible to return under the provisions ofArticle 66 of the Local Government (Superannuation) (Consolidation) Act 1998.
3. The worker's office "Principal Psychologist" has been abolished. The duties and responsibilities of that office, e.g. researching new technologies for rehabilitation of disabled people, vocational assessment, development codes of professional practise no longer exist in any organisation.
4. As a result of the changes made the worker's employment conditions have changed to his detriment.
- He is no longer a member of the management team
- He is now working with children rather than adults
- He now has responsibilities for only 2 employees compared to 8 employees in the NRB
- He is not eligible to apply for any promotion as the position is confined to Civil Servants (he was recently informed that he was not eligible to apply for a position as a director).
4.1 The worker is not an employee of the NDA other than for administrative purposes and is an employee of the Department of Education and/or NEPS.
2. Management has no power, whether pursuant to statute or otherwise to accede to the worker's request that he retire.
3. The worker has not been dismissed by the employer.
4. The Labour Court has no jurisdiction pursuant to the provisionof the Local Government (Superannuation) (Consolidation) Act 1998.
In this case there is considerable confusion as to the identity of the body against which the claim now before the Court should be directed. It is however clear that the worker is entitled to know the identity of his current employer and to pursue his current claim against that body.
The Court recommends that the various bodies involved (NDA, NEPS and the Department of Education and Science) should be invited to meet with the Union for the purpose of establishing which of them should be regarded as the worker's employer. The body so identified should then address the Union's claim.
If this matter is not resolved within one month it may be referred back to the Court.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd October, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.