INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-136371-IR-13/MMG
2. The case before the Court concerns the Worker's appeal of Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-136371-IR-13/MMG. The dispute relates specifically to the Worker's claim for an increased rate of pay allegedly owing to her since 2007. In 2007 the Worker completed a FETAC Level 5 course in patient care and commenced in the role of a multi-task attendant. It is the Worker's contention that her colleagues that also completed the course and carried out the multi-task attendant role received a higher rate of pay than that of the Worker. The Worker received a pay increase in January and in August 2013 however it is the view of the Worker that her current rate of pay should have been paid to her since 2007. The Employer rejects the Worker's claim. Agreement could not be reached between the parties and the matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 12th March 2014, the Rights Commissioner issued his Recommendation as follows:
"It is my opinion therefore that the claimant has presented a somewhat valid complaint in respect of this particular period of time and it is my recommendation that the claimant be afforded retrospective payment to this date".
On the 11th April, 2014 appealed the Rights Commissioners Recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on 14th October, 2014.
3.1. The Worker did not receive a pay increase whereas her colleagues in the same position as the Worker did.
2. The Worker has previously made several attempts to rectify her pay issue with Management.
4.1. The Worker was upgraded as a result of a review of her position carried out by Management who determined that her post had evolved and she was accordingly entitled to be upgraded.
2.The Employer contends that it is not in a position to retrospectively apply a pay increase to the Worker. Furthermore, this is viewed as a pay claim and as such is precluded under the terms of the current Public Services Agreement.
It appears clear that the Claimant formally applied for upgrading in or about April 2012. Her application was approved and implemented with effect from May 2012. In the Court’s opinion the date of claim in respect of this upgrading can only be fixed at April 2012 and the Court could not recommend retrospection before that date.
In his recommendation (erroneously referred to as a “Determination”) the Rights Commissioner appeared to provide for retrospection from that date although that is not clear from the text of the recommendation.
For the avoidance of doubt it is the decision of the Court that the Claimant be paid at the rate applicable to her upgraded post with effect from 28thApril 2012.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th October 2014______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.