INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 27(1), NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE ACT, 2000
SIGN-A-RAMA (CORK) LTD T/A SIGN -A-RAMA
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY HEALY O'CONNOR, SOLICITORS)
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr McCarthy
1. An appeal of a Rights Commissioner's Decision r-142594-mw-14/JT.
2. This case is an appeal by the Worker of a Rights Commissioner Decision no r-142594-mw14/JT. The Rights Commissioner in his Decision of the 19th September 2014 found against the Worker's claim. On the 24th October 2014 the Worker appealed the Rights Commissioner's Decision to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 27(1) of the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000. A Labour Court hearing took place on 27th February 2015.
The following is the Court's Determination:
The Complainant is a sign writer who was employed by the Respondent from 14 March 2011 to 26 April 2013. The Complainant filed a complaint under s23 of the 2000 Minimum Wage Act Act on 2 September 2013. The Rights Commissioner, having considered the submissions of both parties decided that the Complainant had not complied with s24 of the Act and accordingly the complaint was not properly before him and that he did not have jurisdiction to consider the matter. The Complainant subsequently submitted a new complaint under the Act. That matter was heard by a the Rights Commissioner on 28 January 2014. By way of a decision dated 19 September 2014 the Rights Commissioner found against the Complainant. The Complainant appealed against that decision to this Court on the 30 October 2014. The case came on for hearing before this Court on 27 February 2015.
Position of the Parties
The Complainant stated that he was employed by the Respondent as a sign write at an agreed annual salary of €14,791. His hours of work were 8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Monday to Friday. The Complainant stated that he worked 8.5 hours per day and a total of 41.5 hours per week. He argues that this amounts to an hourly rate of €6.85 per hour. He argues that this amount is less than the minimum wage that was in force in the relevant period.
The Court gave the Respondent an opportunity to make submissions on the matters before it and to be heard on the issues. The Respondent made no submissions on the matter and did not attend the hearing when the matter came before the Court.
On the basis of the evidence before it the Court finds that the Complainant submitted a s23 letter to the employer and that it has jurisdiction to hear the complaint. The Court further finds that the Complainant walked for the Respondent as a sign writer and was paid an annual salary of €14,791. He worked a total of 41.5 hours each week. The Court accordingly finds that the Complainant was paid an hourly rate of pay of €6.85 per hour. While the Complainant was employed the Statutory Minimum Wage was initially €8.65 per hour. This was subsequently reduced to €7.65 per hour before it was restored to €8.65 per hour. Accordingly the Court finds that the Complainant was not paid the statutory hourly minimum rate in force while working for the respondent.
The Court asked the Complainant to quantify his total loss and allowed him 21 days to set out the calculations. The Complainant responded by letter dated the 19thMarch 2015 claiming a total loss of €7,777.10. The Court sent the calculations to the Respondent and invited submissions on them. The Respondent replied by email in the following terms on 27 March.
“Signarama has ceased trading as of 28/11/14, the finding of John Tierney on 19/9/14 was in my favour, I don’t know the outcome of the appeal. At this point I have nothing else I wish to say.”
On the basis of the uncontested evidence of the Complainant the Court upholds the appeal. The Court orders the Respondent to pay the Complainant wages outstanding under the Act in the sum of €7,777.10.
The Decision of the Rights Commissioner is set aside.
The Court so determines.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th July, 2015.Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Ciaran Roche, Court Secretary.