INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
BORD NA MONA
UNITE THE UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-132888/132891-IR-13/JT.
2. The case before the Court concerns a dispute between the Employer and the Union on behalf of two named Claimants. The dispute refers specifically to the Workers' claim that they were excluded from a pay increase and as a result are seeking the retrospective application of the outstanding pay increase. The Employer disputes the Workers' claim, arguing that there is no increase owing to them.The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 5th November 2013, the Rights Commissioner issued his Recommendation as follows:
"I have considered the submissions of both parties. It is unusual to claim an entitlement that is over four years old. However there is no time limit under the IR Act. The Respondent is currently operating a pay freeze for obvious reasons. Furthermore the Remuneration Committee have had their deliberations on the matter. For these reasons I do not find the claims well founded and they fail".
On the 16th December, 2013 the Claimants appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th February, 2013.
3. 1. The Union contends that the Claimants were excluded from a pay increase that is now owing to them since 2009.
2. The Union maintains that the outstanding pay increase is one of contractual entitlement and should be paid to the Claimants without further delay.
3.The Union asserts that while the Claimants in this case hold a unique type of contract, there is a distinct pay relationship between the Claimants and all other employees within the organisation.
4. The general pool of employees received a pay increase in 2008. The Union contends that this increase should have been paid to the Claimants in 2009, however, it was not.
4. 1. The Employer is of the view that there is no outstanding pay increase owing to the Claimants.
2. The Claimants hold personal term contracts where salary progression is determined by an annual pay review that is conducted based on personal performance and the Company's market position at the time.
3. The Employer in this instance argues that it was not in a financial position to award a pay increase to the Claimants at a time when a Company-wide pay freeze had been implemented.
This is an appeal by two employees employed by Bord Na M�na against a Rights Commissioner’s Recommendation which found against their claim for an outstanding pay increase.
Unite Trade Union representing both Appellants claimed that they were due an increase of 2.5% since 1stApril 2009. The Union submitted that this came about as the Appellants were on personalised contracts which provided as follows:-
- “Your salary will be reviewed on the 1stof April 2006 and each subsequent year thereafter and unless otherwise warranted will be increased by not less that the amounts awarded to the general body of employee through National Wage Agreements.”
The Union submitted that the application of a 2.5% increase in pay granted to the general body of employees through the final phase of Towards 2016 on 1stJuly 2008 was not applied to their salary when reviewed in April 2009.
Management stated that when a review of pay for 2009/2010 took place in February 2009 for the general body of employees, it was decided to implement a pay freeze and accordingly the Appellants did not receive a pay increase for that period.
Having considered the submissions of both sides the Court is of the view that in accordance with the specific requirements of their personal contracts the Appellants should have received a pay increase by not less than the amounts awarded to the general body of employees through the final phase of Towards 2016 and accordingly recommends that the Appellants should receive a pay increase of 2.5% backdated to the date the claim was submitted to the Rights Commissioner, 1stMay 2013.
Therefore the Court overturns the Rights Commissioner’s Recommendation and upholds the Appellants’ appeal in part.
The Court so Decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th February 2014______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.