INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY PURDY FITZGERALD SOLICITORS)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Ms Tanham
1. Regularisation To Grade VII.
2. This case concerns a dispute between the HSE and the worker in relation to acting in a senior role. The worker contends that she has been an acting Grade VII since 2010 but continues to be paid at her substantive Grade IV rate of pay. She is seeking that she be regularised in the Grade VII post and be retrospectively paid any allowances that should have applied to the period spent acting up. Management contends that the worker applied to be regularised but was unsuccessful on the basis that she did not meet the required eligibility criteria.
The worker referred the matter to the Labour Court on 19th November 2014 in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's Recommendation. A Labour Court hearing took place on 10th March 2015. The Court requested further correspondence from the HSE in relation to an appeals process which was received on 22nd April 2015.
3 1 The worker has acted up in a senior grade for a number of years without either an acting up allowance or regularisation in the senior grade. The worker applied for regularisation yet was refused and there is no internal appeals mechanism currently in place. In the circumstances the worker is seeking that the Labour Court recommend she be regularised in the senior grade and be paid all appropriate retrospection.
4 1 The worker was refused regularisation on the basis that she did not meet the eligibility requirements set out in HSE Circular 017/2013. An appeals process has been agreed in principal between Management and the Trade Unions and is the appropriate mechanism for this matter to be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
The matter before the Court was brought under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1969 and concerns a claim for regularisation and payment of an acting allowance. The Claimant’s substantive grade is Grade IV, however since 1stApril 2010 she has been working in an acting Grade VII role.
The Claimant applied to be regularised in accordance with HSE HR Circular 017/2013 dated 15thOctober 2013 which was implemented in accordance with the provisions of the Haddington Road Agreement, Appendix 7(4)“Regularisation of long term actors”, however, her application was not approved as HSE informed her that she did not meet the criteria laid down in the Circular. When she sought to appeal that decision, she was informed that there was no appeal process.
In support of her position, the Claimant stated that she was requested to perform Grade VII duties on an acting basis due to the retirement of the then incumbent and she has been carrying out these duties since while continuing to be paid at the lower grade, without an acting allowance.
HSE Management stated that this case should be considered in the context of an appeals process which has been agreed to in principal by the HSE and the trade unions/staff representative bodies.
Having considered the position of both parties the Court notes that the HSE HR Circular 017/2013 has been in place since October 2013, no appeals process has been introduced and at a meeting held in April 2015, it was agreed “in principal” to introduce an appeals process. However, the Claimant continues to be paid at a lower grade rate that the work she performs.
Therefore the Court is of the view that as the Claimant had been carrying on the role of a higher grade since 2010 without additional remuneration and she continues to carry out this role she should be paid the appropriate acting allowance retrospective to 1stApril 2010 and recommends accordingly. Furthermore the Court is of the view that there is merit in regularising her position in accordance with the terms of HSE HR Circular 017/2013 and recommends accordingly.
Finally, as the Court has already stated in LCR No:20728, the HSE should adhere to its well established procedure for resolving disputes and therefore such matters as encompassed by this dispute should not come before the Court under Section 20 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
28th May 2015______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.