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 Cryan
Worker Member: Mr McCarthy
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioner's Decision r-143974-ir-14/JW
2. This case is an appeal by the worker of Rights Commissioner's Decision No: r-143974-ir-14/JW. The issue concerns a claim for the retrospective application of a higher rate of pay sought by a Setter employed by the Company. The Union contends that the completion of an NVQ training programme would qualify the worker for the higher rate of pay (M2) but that the required training programme was removed by Management prior to the worker completing the qualification. Management's position is that all workers had the opportunity of completing the necessary programme in their own time but that normally the entire training would take approximately 10 months. In the case at issue the required qualification has not been attained.
The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. A Recommendation issued on the 5th September 2014 and found that an agreement between the parties provided that the payment of the higher rate of pay required the completion of the required training, which at the relevant time the worker had not done. The Rights Commissioner did not find in favour of the worker's claim.
On the 18th September 2014 the worker appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 6th August 2015.
3 1 The worker had commenced the required programme but it was brought to an end by management prior to the worker completing the training. Management did not notify the worker in advance that the programme had come to an end or offer alternatives at that time. As a result the worker effectively remained on a lower rate of pay with little or no opportunity at the time for progression to the higher rate of pay.
4 1 The required training programme was available to all and typically took 10 months to complete. The training was available for a number of years yet was not completed by the worker. When the programme came to an end the worker had not attained the required qualification and therefore could not be placed on the higher rate of pay.
It is noted that the issue giving rise to this dispute arose in 2007 /2008. It was formally raised in January 2013 and effectively resolved by an agreement reached in June 2013. The question of retrospection was not raised in the context of the discussions leading to that agreement.
On the basis of those facts alone the Court can see not merit in the Union’s claim for retrospective payment to 2007 or 2008.
It is also clear that the agreement with the Union provides that the successful completion of the programme in issue is a condition precedent to the attainment of the higher rate. The agreement does not provide for any exceptions to that condition.
In these circumstances the Court can see no merit in the Union’s claim. The appeal is disallowed and the Recommendation of the Rights Commissioner is affirmed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th August 2015______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.