INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
SYNNOB INNS T/A DONAGHMEDE INN LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY LICENSED VINTNERS ASSOCIATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY MANDATE TRADE UNION)
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Recognition of service.
2. The dispute concerns the Union's claim that the Donaghmede Inn Ltd failed to recognise continuous service of a worker when he transferred from Madigans licensed premises Kilbarrack to Madigans licensed premises Donaghmede. The Claimant commenced employment with Madigan Inns Donaghmede in 1987. In March, 1995 the present Company purchased the Donaghmede Inn from the Madigan Group. The claimant at this time was working in another Madigan premises in Kilbarrack and transferred to the Donaghmede Inn in April 1997 according to the Union and in December, 1996 according to the Company. The Union claims that the Worker's service with the Madigan Group i.e. from 1987 should be recognised by his current employer -Donaghmede Inns Ltd. The Company rejected the claim. On the 8th March, 2006 the Union referred a complaint to the Labour Court under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Labour Court hearing was held on the 21st June, 2006.
3. 1. The Claimant commenced employment with Madigans Inns Ltd in 1987. It was common practice within the group that staff would transfer by agreement to another unit. The claimant transferred on two occasions the last occasion being in 1997.
2. The Claimant was not informed by either his former employer Madigan's Inns Ltd or his current employer that there had been a change of ownership . This is contrary to the European Communities (Safeguarding of Employees Rights on Transfer of Undertakings Regulations 1980- SI No. 306 1980.
3. The Claimant did not receive a P45 indicating that his employment had been terminated. In April, 1998 the claimant received his P60 from Donaghmede Inns Ltd. On the P60 the employer name is Madigans Inns Ltd, with its Employer Registered number. This number has appeared on all his previous P60's whilst in the employment of Madigan's Inns Limited.
4. 1. A written Agreement from the time of the sale (1995) clearly identifies all of the staff employed at the time of the sale. This agreement transfers the service accrued under Madigan Group Trading Company to Donaghmede Inns Limited. The claimant is not mentioned in this document, he was not working for the Company at that time. The Union was consulted and made aware of the arrangements at the time and was satisfied with those arrangements. The Company is certain that it offered the claimant employment with service commencing on the 14th December, 1996.
2. There are no redundancies planned or anticipated in the employment
3. The Company is of the opinion that the Claimant's dispute if any rests with the Madigan Group Trading Company.
Having heard he submissions of the parties, the Court would make the following observations.
It is clear that the ownership of the Donaghmede Inn passed from the Madigan Group to Bradmill Ltd( later Donaghmede Inn) on 9th March, 1995 and that this was a transfer of ownership in which the rights of employees in the Donaghmede Inn were fully protected. The Claimant was not a member of staff of the Donaghmede Inn at the time.
In November, 1996, the Claimant was offered a transfer from Madigans in Kilbarrack to the Madigans Group O'Connell St, licensed premises, but requested for family reasons a transfer to the Donaghmede Inn, where he had previously worked. This was granted and he began work there, while a member of the existing bar staff of the Donaghmede Inn transferred to Madigans in Killbarrack. There is a conflict of evidence as to when the Claimant states he started work in Donaghmede. He alleges that he thought he was simply being transferred from one Madigans pub to another in a swap with another employee (which happened to him previously), and had no knowledge of the change of ownership. The Employer's view was that he changed from the employment of the Madigan Group to the Group which owned the Donaghmede Inn, as a new employee
The Court is also hampered by a lack of supporting documentation on either side and by the fact that, apparently, no P45 changed hands in 1996 at the time of the transfer.
In all the circumstances, the Court cannot establish conclusive proof that the Claimant's version of events should be accepted, nevertheless, the question of liability for any potential benefit for his eight years prior service needs to be resolved.
In all the circumstances, the Court recommends that the present and former owners should meet to establish who will have liability for this period of service.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th June, 2006
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.