INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-049193-Ir-07/Tb
2. The Company was established in 1994 and is engaged in agency, manufacturing, retail and wholesale distribution of pharmaceutical products. The Company has it's headquarters in Tallaght with facilities also in Finglas, Sligo, Limerick and Cork and employs approximately 700 staff. The issue involves a Worker that transferred after the Company's take-over of Boileau & Boyd in accordance with the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations and is claiming that his meal expenses are reduced and is therefore claiming compensation in lieu of the loss in earnings.
The issue involves a claim by SIPTU. The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 23rd July, 2007, the Rights Commissioner issued his Recommendation as follows:
"Expenses are paid to reimburse for expenses incurred during the course of employment. If the expense is not incurred the reimbursement cannot take place.
Based on the submissions of the parties and on the discussions at the hearing it appears that the claimant is seeking compensation for the loss of an allowance in circumstances where that allowance is no longer expendable.
I do not recommend in favour of the union claim".
On the 28th August, 2007the Union appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 20th February, 2008.
3. 1. The Worker transferred into the Company on the understanding that there would be no diminution of his earnings, the expenses were an integrated part of his income and set his standard of living.
2. The Transfer of Undertakings Regulations, 2003 clearly states that there should be no loss incurred by transferring the Worker.
4. 1. There was no change in the calculation of meal expences since the take-over, only the work area has changed from country to city runs.
2. Meal expenses can not be considered as normal income as they do not attract any income taxand can only be paid when an expense is incurred.
The appeal before the Court concerns the Worker's claim for compensation for loss of expenses incurred as a result of a change in his roster. The Rights Commissioner did not find in favour of the Worker's claim, as the expense is no longer expendable. The Court concurs with the Rights Commissioner's findings and therefore, upholds his recommendation. The Worker's appeal fails.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd March, 2008______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to John Foley, Court Secretary.