INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
IRISH MUNICIPAL, PUBLIC AND CIVIL TRADE UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Responsibility Allowance
2. This case concerns a dispute between the Employer and the Union in relation to the payment of a responsibility allowance. The Union is seeking the payment of the allowance to Care Assistants who now carry out their duties in a community based setting. The Union contends that the allowance was previously paid in circumstances where Care Assistants moved from residential to community based care. Management's position is that the additional work carried out by the Care Assistants in the community based setting can be classed as normal ongoing change and does not qualify for the payment of an allowance.
The dispute was not resolved at local level and was the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission. As agreement was not reached the matter was referred to the Labour Court on 10th December 2014 in accordance with Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on 25th February 2015.
3 1 The Care Assistants are carrying out duties that are beyond their level of responsibility. This has been acknowledged previously by the payment of a responsibility allowance to comparable staff and should be paid to those associated with this claim also.
4 1 The allowance that was paid previously was done so at a time when the service was moving from a residential to a community based setting and was paid as an incentive to Care Assistants to transfer with the service. It no longer has any relevance as the current duties carried out are well within the roles and responsibilities of the Care Assistants.
The Court notes that it is agreed between the parties that this dispute has come before it under the terms of theClause 5.1 of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2016 (Haddington Road Agreement)and the Decision of the Court is binding on the parties.
The issue before the Court concerns a claim for a responsibility allowance on behalf of Care Assistants required to move from an institutional setting to community based setting. Management rejected the claim on the basis that such an allowance no longer exists and it is prohibited by government policy from paying such an allowance.
Having considered the submissions of all parties, the Court notes that there is no agreement on the payment of a responsibility allowance in these circumstances, no documentation was presented to the Court on the application of such an allowance and it is disputed whether the allowance was last paid in 2009 or 2011. Furthermore the Court notes that this payment is currently paid to five Care Assistants of the Foundation on a personal to holder basis.
Having examined Department of Health Circular 11/2013 “Compliance with Health Sector Pay Policy”, the Court notes that the Foundation as a Section 38 Agency, thereby funded by HSE, is prohibited from considering the claim. This Circular sets out the current salaries for public health service staff and states that“in no circumstances should an employee receive remuneration in the nature of pay and allowances of any amount greater that the amount prescribed”.Therefore the Court is prohibited from making a recommendation in the Unions’ favour and accordingly must reject the claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th March 2015______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.