INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-041645-IR-06/TB.
2. The Worker concerned commenced employment with Donegal County Council on the 9th July 1998 on a temporary basis. At this time he was based in Clonmany.
In February 2005 the Worker was offered a permanent contract with the Council, which stated under the terms and conditions that he would be based at Carndonagh.
The Union, on behalf of the Worker, wrote to the Council requesting that the contract be amended to state that he be based in Clonmany. The Council were unable to accede to his request.
The issue was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. His recommendation issued on the 29th November 2006, as follows:-
“……I recommend that the claimant accepts that on being made permanent, his base is Carndonagh.
Acknowledging that up till now the claimant has operated from Clonmany and to compensate him for the inconvenience in cost, which may result from the change I recommend that the Council pay the claimant €1,500 in compensation.”
The Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 10th January 2007, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 12th July, 2007.
3. 1. The Worker has been based in Clonmany since he commenced employment with the County Council in July 1998.
2. If the Worker is required to work in another area of the Inishowen Area, he is collected in Council transport at Clonmany or asked to use his own vehicle. The Union maintain that this shows that the Council accept Clonmany as the Worker's base.
3. If the Worker's base is changed to Carndonagh he will have the additional cost of travelling there, which is approximately a 16 mile return journey. He currently travels approximately ten miles return from his home to work.
4. 1.The appointment of three temporary staff to permanent positions was made on the basis that such staff are presently part of a central team responding to various needs on a day to day basis. The team currently operates from a base in Carndonagh.
2. The practice of a colleague collecting and returning the Worker from Clonmany is not sustainable and could not be justified as part of a permanent appointment. The practice suggests that the Worker is ineffective as a member of the workforce for perhaps 1/2 hour both morning and evening of each working day. It is also unfair to his work colleagues.
3. The Council believe they have treated the Worker very fairly. The compensation recommended by the Rights Commissioner was very generous but the Council decided to accept the recommendation in the interests of employee relations.
The case before the Court concerns an appeal by the Worker of a Rights Commissioner’s Recommendation, which found against his claim to retain his work base at Clonmany after he was appointed into a permanent position working as part of a central team in the Inishowen Area, which has its base at Carndonagh.
Having considered the oral and written submissions of both parties, the Court concurs with the Rights Commissioner’s finding that on being made permanent with the County Council; his work required him to be based at Carndonagh and not at Clonmany. The Court notes that the Rights Commissioner recommended the payment of a sum of €1500 as compensation for the inconvenience in cost associated with his change of work base. The Court upholds the Rights Commissioners Recommendation and the appeal fails.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
10th August, 2007______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.