INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
OPERA THEATRE COMPANY LIMITED
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY DECLAN NAUGHTON)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. Enhanced Redundancy terms
2. This case concerns a claim by the worker for enhanced redundancy terms. Management's position is that the worker was made redundant and was paid his statutory entitlements. The worker was also offered additional severance which he did not accept. Management further contends that its financial position prevents it from any further enhancements to what has already been offered.
On the 13th March 2014, the worker referred the matter to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's Recommendation. A Labour Court hearing took place on 29th May 2014
3 1 The worker is seeking the same enhanced redundancy payments that have been previously paid in similar circumstances. Management's contention that it was unable to pay enhanced terms due to its financial difficulties is disputed. Management paid enhanced redundancy terms previously while experiencing more serious financial difficulties than exist at the present time.
4 1 Management cannot pay the enhanced terms sought by the worker. The organisation has had a significant reduction in funding as well as reductions in its grants and box office sales. The worker has been offered statutory redundancy entitlements as well as an ex-gratia payment and a further payment towards training and development. In the current circumstances this is the best that can be offered in settlement of the dispute.
The matter before the Court concerned a claim by a worker for an ex-gratia redundancy payment. The Claimant was employed as Finance& Administration Manager with the Opera Theatre Company and was made redundant on 31stJanuary 2014. He sought an ex-gratia redundancy payment on the same terms as a previous colleague who was made redundant in 2006.
The Company made an offer of an ex-gratia payment of €5,120 plus €4,000 vouched for education/training development. It highlighted to the Court the severe financial difficulties facing the Company, outlined details of its very precarious existence and stated that it was unable to pay any additional payments to the Claimant.
The Court notes the Claimant’s intentions to undertake a training/development course to enhance his employment opportunities.
Taking all aspect of this case into account the Court recommends that in addition to the €5,120 ex-gratia payment on offer, the Company should pay him €2,800 per annum towards the cost of the training/development course that he intends to undertake over the next three years. The Court recommends that these payments should be paid in three moieties, i.e. €2,800 per annum over three years. In the event that there is any threat to such payments in the three years, the Company must pay any outstanding balance due in full.
The Court so Recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th June 2014______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.