INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR53045/07/MR
2. The worker is employed as a Civil Engineering Contracts Supervisor in the Cork area. The Union's claim on his behalf is for his upgrading from Level 4 to Level 3. The Union's case is that the worker is performing additional duties which are proper to Level 3 and made its case to the Company in 2006. The Company undertook a job evaluation exercise of the generic roles of Level 3 and Level 4 and was satisfied that the job roles were appropriately graded. The Company, however, did make an ex-gratia offer of €1500 to the worker but this was rejected by the Union and the case was referred to a Rights Commissioner. His recommendation was as follows:
"Accordingly, I now recommend that Coillte Teoranta should agree to pay the worker a once off, ex gratia payment of €10,000, this payment to be made on the basis that the worker continue with his current expanded duties until March, 2008. The parties should also agree to meet at an early date to consider what the worker's precise role and duties should be with effect from 1 April, 2008 onwards. For their part the worker and IMPACT should accept that Level 4 is the correct grade for him based on his current "official" duties and that his acceptance of the lump sum that I am recommending would be in full and final settlement of all his disputes relating to his duties up to 31 March, 2008."
(The Worker was named in the above recommendation.)
The Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 10th December, 2008, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Union is seeking a lump sum of €20,960 rather than the €10,000 recommended by the Rights Commissioner, and recognition in the future for the worker's continuing role over and above his "official" Level 4 grading. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 28th February, 2008, in Dublin.
3. 1. The Rights Commissioner's recommendation noted that the worker had undertaken duties that were clearly additional to his official duties for a considerable period, and that this had been accepted by management.
2. The worker's duties (details supplied to the Court) are appropriate to a Level 3 role. It would be highly unfair if discussions led to a diminution of the worker's role, status and responsibility as proposed by the Company.
4. 1. The Company is satisfied that the worker is properly graded as a Contracts Supervisor at Level 4. Whilst he has done some Level 3 work in the past it is no more than 10% -15% of his overall work.
2. The Company is currently engaged in identifying the exact role and duties, appropriate to Level 4, which will be required of the worker in the future and these will be discussed with him and the Union.
The Court has considered the submissions of the parties to this appeal.
The Court is satisfied that the amount of compensation recommended by the Rights Commissioner in respect of past performance of higher-grade duties is reasonable. Accordingly, the Court is satisfied that this aspect of the Rights Commissioner's ought to be affirmed.
With regard to the second aspect of the Rights Commissioner's recommendation the Court notes that there is serious disagreement between the parties as to the extent to which the claimant performs higher grade duties. In the Court's view it will be extremely difficult to reach final agreement on the future role and duties of the claimant until that disagreement is resolved.
The Court is of the view that in order to address this conflict the Company should commission an evaluation of the Claimant's job for the purpose of establishing the extent to which he performs functions which are appropriate to a Grade 3 post. The result of this evaluation should then be discussed between the parties.
If the matter remains unresolved it may be referred back to the Court.
The Rights Commissioner's recommendation is varied accordingly.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th March, 2008______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.