INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
OUR LADY'S CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL,CRUMLIN
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION)
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Ms Cryan
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioner's Recommendation r-143815-ir-14/JR.
2. This dispute arose when the Worker sought to return to full time working hours. This dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 12th November, 2014 the Rights Commissioner issued the following Recommendation:-
- "I recommend that the claimant should return to working a 35 hour week in either her original position or an alternative suitable position elsewhere in the Hospital."
On the 20th November, 2014 the Employer appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 4th February, 2015.
3. 1. The Worker has a contract of employment for 35 hours.
2.The Worker never agreed to alter this contract.
3.The Worker had, however, a temporary special leave without pay arrangement.
4. 1.The Worker has no contractual entitlement to full-time hours of work.
2.The Worker will be considered for additional hours should any become available.
3.Concession of this claim create a costly and unmanageable precedent.
The Claimant who has been working reduced hours since 2003 now seeks to return to full time working arguing that she has, under the terms on which she commenced the arrangement, retained a right and entitlement to do so. Management disputes that entitlement.
The Court finds that the Claimant’s entitlement to return to full time working expired in September 2003 when the Claimant failed to exercise it. The Court further finds that thereafter the Claimant worked reduced hours on an ad hoc basis and retained no express right to return, at her discretion, to full time work.
The Court equally finds that Management failed to set out the terms on which it permitted the Claimant to work reduced hours.
Both sides must accept a measure of responsibility for the confused manner in which this arrangement came into being and for the uncertainty that surrounds the circumstances in which the Claimant might return to full time work.
Therefore, in all the circumstances of the case, the Court decides that Management should accommodate the Claimant with a return to full time work if and when a suitable vacancy arises at the claimant’s grade.
The Rights Commissioner’s Recommendation is varied accordingly.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd March, 2015______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Jonathan McCabe, Court Secretary.