INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CORPORATE CLEANING SERVICES LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Enhanced Severance Package
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between Corporate Cleaning Services Limited and SIPTU in relation to the seeking of enhanced redundancy terms for four former employees of the Company. The employees in question were employed until 19th August, 2004, when due to the loss of a cleaning contract, they were made redundant on a compulsory basis. The Union is seeking that the Company enhance the redundancy package to an amount equal to the 60% rebate provided to the Company under the Redundancy Payments Acts. The Company's position is that in the Contract Cleaning Industry the norm is to pay statutory entitlements only and it has fulfilled its obligations in that regard.
As the dispute was not resolved at local level, it was the subject of a Conciliation Conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached the matter was referred to the Labour Court on 5th May, 2005 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 4th July, 2006 the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. All of the employees were out of work for a considerable length of time following the redundancies and as the Company was unable to offer alternative work, the redundancy package should be enhanced considerably.
2. The Union's claim to have the redundancy package enhanced equal to the 60% rebate which the Company received is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.
4. 1. The norm in the Contract Cleaning sector is to apply statutory redundancy entitlements. The Company has fulfilled its obligations in this regard.
2. The Company is operating in an extremely competitive environment and is unable to sustain any additional costs with regard to the redundancies
The Court accepts that there is no established pattern in the contract cleaning sector of making ex-gratia payments in situations of redundancy. It is, however, accepted that in some cases lump sums in addition to statutory entitlements are paid.
The Court accepts that there are special features in the case before the Court which distinguish it from the generality of redundancies in the sector. In these special circumstances, the Court is of the view that some additional payments are justified. Accordingly, the Court recommends that the Claimants each receive an ex-gratia payment of €175 per year of service in addition to the statutory payments already made.
The Court makes this recommendation having regard to the special circumstances of this case. It is also made on the basis that it will not be cited or relied upon as a precedent in any other case or claim arising within the contract cleaning sector or otherwise.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21st July 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.