INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
NEWTOWNFORBES PRIVATE RETIREMENT NURSING HOME
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Terms of redundancy.
2. The Nursing Home is privately owned and situated in Co. Longford. The owners are closing the Nursing Home within the next few weeks (no exact date has yet been given to workers).
The Union's claim is for:
- Two weeks pay per year of service plus statutory entitlement;
- Pay in lieu of notice;
- All outstanding holiday pay to be paid.
The Union referred the claim to the Labour Court on the 12th December, 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 11th January, 2006.
3.1 It is normal and good practice that an employer should consult with his employees or their representatives in the event of closure to discuss severance terms and related matters. The Union's claim would be seen as normal and good practice for their members.
2. The employer will make a substantial profit by developing the land for housing.
3. The Union's claim when reviewed against other agreements in the area under similar circumstances would be average compared to other settlements.
4. The claim, if conceded, would provide reasonable a financial cushion for workers while they are seeking other employment.
NURSING HOME'S ARGUMENTS:
4.1 The Directors have operated a Nursing Home facility since 1991 and over the last number of years have incurred significant losses due to low bed occupancy.
2. The Directors find themselves with no option but to terminate its operation from mid January 2006, but could not confirm exact date.
3. Every effort has been made to facilitate the re-employment of existing staff who wish to be re-deployed in a similar type environment.
4. The Company have agreed to abide by the Statutory Redundancy Regulations currently in force.
This dispute was referred to the Court by the Union when employees were issued with letters informing them of the closure of the nursing home in mid-January 2006.
The Union sought an ex-gratia severance package of two weeks pay per year of service in addition to the statutory redundancy payment for those employees being made redundant. It also sought pay in lieu of notice, in line with the terms of the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act, 1973 and payment of compensation for all outstanding annual leave in accordance with the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.
The employer indicated to the Court that it would comply with the statutory terms of the Redundancy Payments Acts, but due to its financial circumstances was not in a position to pay the ex-gratia payment claimed by the Union.
At the hearing, the Court informed the employer that he should consult with the Company’s legal advisors to ensure that all statutory obligations are met. This will also include a notice of “collective redundancies” to the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment and to the Union. Completion of Forms RP50 and RP51 in respect of each individual employee will also need to be complied with.
Having considered all aspects of this case, the Court recommends that the employer should pay two weeks pay per year of service to each of employees being made redundant; this payment is in addition to the statutory redundancy payments.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
13th January, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.