BEACON OF LIGHT COUNSELLING CENTRE
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman : Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member : Ms Cryan
Worker Member : Ms Tanham
1. Enhanced redundancy package.
The Claimant was employed as the Centre Manager at the Beacon of Light Counselling Centre in Neilstown, it is a private company limited by guarantee and has charitable status. Its only source of funds are client subscriptions, corporate donations, fundraising and grants from some State agencies.
When the Claimant was made redundant in 2012 she was given statutory redundancy only and is seeking an enhanced/ex-gratia package. The Employer claims that it is not in a position to pay due to the shortage of funding and the Centre continues to operate due to the Counsellors working on a voluntary basis.
On the 9th June, 2014 the Union 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 23rd July, 2014.
The Worker agreed to be bound by the Court’s Recommendation.
3. 1. The Claimant is entitled to an enhanced redundancy package of three weeks pay per year of service exclusive of statutory. This is similar to the CE Supervisor Enhanced Redundancy Package which was entered into by the Union and FÁS in 2002.
2. The Union is aware of the funding crisis within the Community and Voluntary Sector. However, it is important that the Court issue a Recommendation similar to those previously given in similar cases.
4. 1. Due to a deteriorating financial situation all staff were made redundant in 2012 with the sole exception of the cleaner/caretaker of the premises. All staff were paid their full statutory redundancy entitlement.
2. There are no funds available to pay staff an enhanced redundancy package at this time. All funding is earmarked for counselling only.
The matter before the Court concerns a claim for an ex-gratia redundancy payment by the Union on behalf of a Worker made redundant in December 2012. The Employer’s organisation is involved in the community and voluntary sector and is partially funded by the State Agencies. Management rejected the claim on the basis that it had no funds to pay an ex-gratia redundancy payment.
Having carefully considered the submissions of both parties, the Court recommends that in line with similar analogous employments the Worker should receive an enhanced redundancy payment of three weeks' pay per year of service in excess of her statutory redundancy entitlement. The Court notes that due to the financial circumstances of the organisation it does not have the funds to make this payment and, therefore, the Court further recommends that the parties should co-operate with each other in seeking funding to discharge the amount recommended.
The Court so recommends.