INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
THE H.W. WILSON COMPANY INC.
(REPRESENTED BY LEMAN SOLICITORS)
- AND -
20 NAMED INDIVIDUALS
(REPRESENTED BY ADAMS CORPORATE SOLICITORS)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Ms Cryan
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Claim for ex-gratia redundancy payment.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the Company and twenty named individuals in relation to enhanced redundancy terms. In 2011, the Company, a digital publishing company primarily based in New York with a Dublin based office, was acquired by a competitor publishing company. As a result of this acquisition, the Company no longer had a requirement for a Dublin based office and took the decision to close the Dublin operation in its entirety with all staff being made compulsorily redundant receiving statutory payments only. The Workers are now seeking an enhanced redundancy payment of four weeks' pay per year of service in addition to statutory entitlements, contending that this is the industry norm. The Company rejects the Workers' claim and the dispute could not be resolved at local level.
On the 17th October, 2011 the Workers referred the issue to the Labour Court, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 20th January, 2011.
The Workers agreed to be bound by the Court’s Recommendation.
3. 1. The Workers contend that there is an established industry norm to pay ex-gratia payments in addition to statutory entitlements and are seeking an enhanced payment.
2. The Workers further contend that the Company is highly profitable and is in a financial position to offer an ex-gratia payment.
4. 1. The Company asserts that there is no comparable industry and therefore there are no industry norms.
2. The Company is not in the practice of offering enhanced redundancy terms and has not done so previously.
The matter before the Court concerns a claim by twenty workers for payment of an ex-gratia redundancy payment following the acquisition of the Company and the closure of its Dublin offices. The employer paid statutory redundancy only and the claimants sought four weeks’ pay in addition to the statutory payment.
Having considered the position of both sides the Court recommends that the claimants should be paid an ex-gratia redundancy payment equal to four weeks’ pay inclusive of the statutory payment already paid.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th January 2012______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.