SECTION 28(1), ORGANISATION OF WORKING TIME ACT, 1997
BROADFORD CLEANING & MAINTENANCE SERVICES LTD T/A DIRECT CLEANING SERVICES
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY ALEKSANDRS KALCUKS)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioner's Decision R-140805-WT-13/GC.
2. The Worker referred her case to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 28(1) of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997. A Labour Court hearing took place on 6th November, 2014. The Employer was not present and was not represented at the hearing. The following is the Determination of the Court:
This is an appeal by Irena Kalcuksa (the Claimant) against the decision of a Rights Commissioner in her claim against Broadford Cleaning and Maintenance Limited (the Respondent) under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 (the Act)
While the Respondent was notified of the time date and place at which the appeal was heard it did not appear at the hearing.
The claim relates to the failure of the Respondent to afford the Claimant paid annual leave in accordance with section 19 of the Act. The Rights Commissioner found that the claim was well founded and she awarded the Claimant compensation in the amount of €1,200. It appears that the amount awarded by the Rights Commissioner was intended to correspond to the economic value of the annual leave in issue.
The Claimant appealed against the quantum of the award and told the Court that she believed that a further sum in general compensation should be added to the award. She told the Court that the Respondent had previously transgressed the Act in respect of other employees.
The Court is of the opinion that in circumstances of this case merely requiring the employer to pay the economic value of the holidays withheld does not provide sufficient redress for the contravention of the Act that occurred. As a matter of general principle compensation should not only reflect the economic loss suffered by the Claimant but should act as a deterrent against further infractions of the Act. Applying that general principle in this case the Court is of the opinion that the award made by the Rights Commissioner should be increased to one of €2,500.
The appeal is allowed and the decision of the Rights Commissioner is amended to substitute an award of €2,500 for the award made by the Rights Commissioner.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
21st November 2014______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.