SECTION 28(1), ORGANISATION OF WORKING TIME ACT, 1997
PRESTIGE RECYCLING LTD
(REPRESENTED BY SEAN HARTIGAN)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Appeal Against Right's Commissioner's Decision WT46257/06/MR.
2. This case concerns an appeal by the Worker of Rights Commissioners Decision WT46257/06/MR. The worker claims not to have been given his statutory entitlement to annual leave; to have worked excessive hours; not to have been paid a Sunday premiums; and not to have been given correct breaks during his working hours.
- The Worker referred this case to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and a hearing was arranged for 2nd February, 2007. The case was adjourned and a second hearing took place on 24th April, 2007. The Rights Commissioner's Decision was as follows:
"In accordance with Section 27(3) of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, I hereby declare that Valerij Romanichev's complaint under this Act is well-founded and I now require Prestige Recycling Ltd to pay Mr Romanichev compensation of €5,000 under this Act".
The worker appealed this Decision to the Labour Court on 31st October, 2007, in accordance with Section 28(1) of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997. A Labour Court hearing took place on 26th February, 2008. The Employer did not attend the hearing.
3. 1.The Claimant worked 66 hours per week, including Sundays and Public Holidays.
2.The Claimant received only two weeks paid leave in two years and did not receive the correct breaks.
This is an appeal by Mr Valerij Romanichev (the Claimant) against the decision of a Rights Commissioner in his complaint against Prestige Recycling Ltd (the Respondent) alleging certain contraventions of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 (the Act).
In his decision the Rights Commissioner held that the Respondent had contravened the Act by requiring the Claimant to work excessive hours, had not provided the Claimant with his statutory entitlement of annual leave and had required him to work on Sundays without the benefit of premium payments. The Rights Commissioner awarded the Claimant compensation in the amount of €5,000.
The Claimant appealed against the quantum of the award. The Respondent failed to appear at the hearing of this appeal.
The Claimant told the Court that he worked for the Respondent for two years. He said that during this period he had only received two weeks annual leave. He also told the Court that he normally worked 12-hour shifts and received three 20-minute breaks. He said that he worked most Sundays but did not receive any additional payments for so doing.
On the uncontradicted evidence of the Claimant the Court is satisfied that the Respondent did contravene the Act in the manner alleged. However it appears that some of the contravention relied upon occurred outside the limitation period prescribed by s 27(4) of the Act (they occurred more than six months before the presentation of the complaint). To that extent they cannot be taken into account in measuring the quantum of compensation which is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.
In all the circumstances of the case the Court is of the view that it should increase the award made by the Rights Commissioner. Accordingly the Court determines that the Respondent pay to the Claimant compensation in the amount of €7,000 in respect of the contraventions of the Act which occurred in the six months prior to the presentation of his complaint to the Rights Commissioner.
The appeal is allowed and the decision of the Rights Commissioner is varied accordingly.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
6th March, 2008.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Jonathan McCabe, Court Secretary.