INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 8 (1), TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT (INFORMATION) ACTS, 1994 TO 2012
KNOCKMAROON ESTATES COMPANY
(REPRESENTED BY FERRYS SOLICITORS)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY MAHON SWEENEY SOLICITORS)
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Mr Marie
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. Appeal of an Adjudication Officer's Recommendation No(s). r-150895-TE-15/RG
2. This is an appeal of Adjudication Officer's Recommendation No: r-150895-TE-15/RG. A Labour Court hearing took place on 23rd February, 2016 and 10th May, 2016. The following is the Court's Determination:
This is an appeal by The Knockmaroon Estates Company (the respondent) against a decision of the Rights Commissioner that it had infringed section 3 of the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994. The Rights Commissioner awarded the Andreea Iablonschi (the complainant) compensation in the sum of €1200 for the alleged breach. The respondent appealed against that decision to this Court.
Section 3 of the Act states
- 3.—(1) An employer shall, not later than 2 months after the commencement of an employee’s employment with the employer, give or cause to be given to the employee a statement in writing containing the following particulars of the terms of the employee’s employment, that is to say—
(a) the full names of the employer and the employee,
(b) the address of the employer in the State or, where appropriate, the address of the principal place of the relevant business of the employer in the State or the registered office (within the meaning of theCompanies Act, 1963),
(c) the place of work or, where there is no fixed or main place of work, a statement specifying that the employee is required or permitted to work at various places,
(d) the title of the job or nature of the work for which the employee is employed,
(e) the date of commencement of the employee’s contract of employment,
(f) in the case of a temporary contract of employment, the expected duration thereof or, if the contract of employment is for a fixed term, the date on which the contract expires,
(h) the length of the intervals between the times at which remuneration is paid, whether a week, a month or any other interval,
(i) any terms or conditions relating to hours of work (including overtime),
(j) any terms or conditions relating to paid leave (other than paid sick leave),
(k) any terms or conditions relating to—
(i) incapacity for work due to sickness or injury and paid sick leave, and
(ii) pensions and pension schemes,
(l) the period of notice which the employee is required to give and entitled to receive (whether by or under statute or under the terms of the employee’s contract of employment) to determine the employee’s contract of employment or, where this cannot be indicated when the information is given, the method for determining such periods of notice,
(m) a reference to any collective agreements which directly affect the terms and conditions of the employee’s employment including, where the employer is not a party to such agreements, particulars of the bodies or institutions by whom they were made.
(2) A statement shall be given to an employee under subsection (1) notwithstanding that the employee’s employment ends before the end of the period within which the statement is required to be given.
(3) The particulars specified in paragraphs (g), (h), (i), (j), (k) and (l) of the said subsection (1), may be given to the employee in the form of a reference to provisions of statutes or instruments made under statute or of any other laws or of any administrative provisions or collective agreements, governing those particulars which the employee has reasonable opportunities of reading during the course of the employee’s employment or which are reasonably accessible to the employee in some other way.
(4) A statement furnished by an employer under subsection (1) shall be signed and dated by or on behalf of the employer.
(5) A copy of the said statement shall be retained by the employer during the period of the employee's employment and for a period of 1 year thereafter.
The respondent owns a large dwelling that is surrounded by extensive lands on which a range of animals are kept. The complainant was employed by the respondent as a Housekeeper and subsequently Cook from 1 January 2010 until the employment terminated on 17 October 2014. She was paid €350 per week and was provided with accommodation on the estate. She had responsibility for maintaining the dwelling house in good order and for assisting with the preparation and the presentation of food to the family and their guests.
The complainant submits that she was employed by the respondent but was at no time provided with a written statement of her terms and conditions of employment as provided for in section 3 of the Act.
The Respondent acknowledges that it did not provide the complainant with a copy her terms and conditions of employment contrary to section 3 of the Act. However it submits that the complainant was well aware of her terms and conditions of employment. It states that she quite assertive in the manner in which she separated her working and personal time. It submits that she suffered no prejudice as a result of the respondent’s failure to comply with section 3 of the Act. It submits that compensation envisaged in the Act must be commensurate with the effect of the failure on the complainant which in this case was technical and minimal. It submits that the compensation awarded by the Rights Commissioner was excessive and should be set aside.
Findings of the Court
The Court finds that the respondent acknowledges that it infringed the complainant’s rights under section 3 of the Act. However it submits that the complainant suffered no prejudice as a result of that failure as she was aware of her terms and conditions of employment and actively engaged with the respondent to assert them from time to time.
The Act provides that the Court may award compensation, not exceeding 4 weeks’ remuneration, that it considers just and equitable having regard to all of the circumstances.
The Court has considered all of the information and evidence presented to it. The Court finds that the decision of the Rights Commissioner was, in all the circumstances, fair and reasonable and should be upheld.
The decision of the Rights Commissioner/Adjudication Officer was fair and reasonable and is upheld.
The Court so determines.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
8th July, 2016______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Ceola Cronin, Court Secretary.