INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY MSS CONSULTANTS)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Implementation of a Meal Allowance
2. This case concerns a dispute between Federal Security (represented by Management Support Services Consultants) and SIPTU concerning the introduction of a meal allowance for security officers employed by the Company. The claim concernspersonnel who provide security on trains when major sporting events are taking place in either Dublin or other provincial locations.
The Union's position is that the workers are absent from their base for long periods and should have the meal allowance provided as a result. Management's position is that the workers volunteer for such duties and are paid for all hours absent from home despite only working on the train journey to and from each location. Management further pointed out that the Employment Regulation Order (ERO) for the Industry does not provide a meal allowance and concession of the claim would lead to repercussive claims.
The dispute was not 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 3rd March, 2008 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 3rd September, 2008.
3 1 The workers in question are absent from their base for many hours. In such circumstances the employer has a duty of care to the workers and should ensure that an allowance is paid to facilitate the workers in obtaining substantial meals
2 A precedent exists in other sectors that provides meal allowances where workers are absent from their base for excessive periods of time. It is unacceptble that these workers are treated less favourably.
4 1 It is not the practice of the sector to provide meal allowances when workers are working on site. Facilities are provided in such circumstances but workers must make provisions for their own meals.
2 Concession of the claim would cause great difficuties in the sector and lead to repercussive claims into the future.
The Court has not been referred to any precedent in the security industry for the payment of a meal allowance. In these circumstances the Court does not recommend concession of the Union’s claim.
The Court does recommend that the parties seek to ensure that appropriate facilities for the taking of meals are available to the staff in question, in accordance with the requirements of the ERO.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
24th September 2008______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.