INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
CARVANNA PROPERTIES LIMITED T/A QUALITY HOTELS KILLARNEY
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Redundancy Terms
2. In January 2004, all employees of the former Killarney Ryan Hotel transferred to Carvanna Properties Ltd., the lessee/operator of the Quality Resort and Leisure Centre Killarney. The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union, on behalf of four of its members whose employment was terminated by way of redundancy, for an enhanced redundancy payment and pay in lieu of notice. The Union is seeking five weeks' pay per year of service plus statutory entitlement for each employee. The four members were deemed to be core staff working twelve months per year.
- The Company contends that while it was always its intention to have the Hotel remain open during off-season, for financial reasons and in an effort to remain viable, the Hotel closed prematurely for an extended period in November, 2005. The majority of operational staff were subject to lay-off as provided for in their contracts of employment.
The dispute could not be resolved at local level and was the subject of a Conciliation Conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court on the 24th March, 2006, in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 10th October, 2006.
3. 1. The Court is asked to recommend a settlement of five weeks' pay per year of service plus statutory entitlement for each employee made redundant on the basis that these employees were long-term core workers employed within the Hotel and were made redundant while they were on lay-off without consultation or agreement with the Union.
2. The procedures adopted in these redundancies leave a lot to be desired as the employees involved received telephone calls from the management of the Hotel advising them to contact their Union following which they were then advised that they were being made redundant and were denied the opportunity of seeking a direct explanation from management as to the reasons for their redundancy at short notice.
3. To date no payment have been received/accepted by members in respect of redundancy or payment in lieu of notice.
4. 1. The Company is obliged to apply statutory redundancy entitlements and its obligations have been fulfilled in this regard. The Company cannot offer enhanced redundancy payments without considering the competitive environment in which it operates and it is unable to sustain any additional costs with regard to redundancies at this time.
2. The proposals that have been made at resolving the dispute have been reasonable and in good faith. An enhanced offer by the Company included Statutory Redundancy, Full payment in lieu of notice, Settlement for balance of winter lay off, An additional two weeks pay per year of service with no cap. They accurately reflect the accepted and agreed formula for enhanced redundancy payments.
3. The initial proposals had no cap unlike similar deals and were favourable given the norms in the industry. The Union has proposed no viable alternative to resolve the dispute.
The dispute before the Court concerns a claim by the Union for enhanced redundancy terms and payment in lieu of notice on behalf of four workers declared redundant in December 2005/February 2006.
In an effort to resolve this dispute, the Company made an offer to pay an enhanced package, which included payment in lieu of notice. This offer, dated 27th June, 2006, was rejected by the Union and consequently withdrawn by the Company.
Having considered the oral and written submissions of the parties, the Court recommends that in all the circumstances prevailing, the Company’s offer of 27th June 2006 should be reinstated and accepted by the Union in full and final settlement of this dispute.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
31st October, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Joanne O'Connor, Court Secretary.