ADJUDICATION OFFICER RECOMMENDATION
Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00000649
Complaint for Resolution:
Complaint/Dispute Reference No.
Date of Receipt
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969
Venue: WRC; Lansdowne House Dublin 4.
Date of Adjudication Hearing: 08/11/2016
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Eugene Hanly
In accordance with Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 following the referral of the complaint to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint.
The Complainant is employed since 1995 and now works as Senior Executive Assistant. She is paid €3,250 per month. She has claimed that her hours of work at 37.5 are incorrect for her grade. She is seeking the application of a 35 hour week, which is a 2.5 hour reduction in the working week and compensation for the extra hours worked.
Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:
When the Complainant first commenced employment on a temporary basis she worked 37.5 hours per week. When she was offered a permanent contract her hours were 39 per week. Over the next six years she disputed the 39 hours and eventually on 30th March 1998 management agreed to return her to 37.5 hours per week. She also received compensation for the additional hours worked. All Executive Assistants in the College with the exception of the Complainant worked 32.5, which is now 35 hours per week. In 1998 an internal memo from the Head of Personnel conformed that her actual hours for her grade was 32.5.
Previous Senior Executive Assistants who worked in the Restaurant worked 32.5 hours per week. The Complainant also gets fewer annual leave days per year. The hours of work / rates of pay / annual leave entitlements are governed by collective agreements. All other senior Executive Assistants work a 35 hour week. The extending of her hours places her at a severe disadvantage both in hours and pay. She is seeking a reduction of 2.5 hours per week and compensation for the additional hours that she has worked over the years.
Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:
The Complainant is employed as a member of the College’s Restaurant Staff and she is located in the Restaurant office. This is significant as restaurant staff receive benefits that are only applicable to the restaurant such as one weeks pay / bonus at Christmas and free meals during rostered hours of work. This category of staff was red circled following a collective agreement made with the union in 2012. It stated,” All existing employees employed within the catering department will remain employees of the catering department”. The Complainant has relied upon this agreement in the past for improved terms of employment. She received €1,100 from a 2015 agreement in respect of the Restaurant department. Therefore her benefits differ to that of other Senior Executive Assistants in the College. When she was regraded to Senior Executive Assistant in 2000 she was written to as follows: - the undersigned determine that arising from the increase of responsibilities and duties warrants that assignment of the grade of Senior Executive Assistant, catering hours”. It is long established that 37.5 hours were the set hours for the restaurant administrative staff.
This category of staff is different to other Executive Assistants and Senior Executive Assistants in the College. All contracts of Administrative staff in the Restaurant have a 37.5 hour working week. There is one Senior Executive Assistant and one Executive Assistant there. The hours of work for the restaurant staff are contractually and in practice established as 37.5 hours per week. This claim is rejected.
I note the conflicting positions of both parties.
I note that the comparator listed by the Complainant (MC) left the employment in 1993.
I did not find this a relevant comparator.
I note the Respondent stated that they have no record of any Senior Executive Assistants or Executive Assistants in the restaurant working the reduced hours as claimed.
I note that the Complainant has always worked in the Restaurant and provides a service to the catering department only.
I note that she works the same hours as the restaurant staff.
I note that other Senior Executive Assistants and Executive Assistants in the College work a 35 hour week.
I note that she receives benefits that are particular to the restaurant only.
She receives free meals when on rostered duties. She receives one week’s pay bonus at Christmas. She has benefitted for a collective agreement for the restaurant staff. No other Senior Executive Assistants or Executive Assistants in the college outside of the restaurant are in receipt of these.
I note that she is not the only administrative person in the restaurant and they work 37.5 hours per week.
I find that she has never declined these benefits in the past.
I find that she is endeavouring to retain the benefits that she has while at the same time wanting the hours of the Executive Assistant staff outside of the restaurant area.
I find that the Complainant is employed specifically in the restaurant department.
I find the Respondent’s evidence convincing that employees in the restaurant are treated differently than those outside of the restaurant.
Therefore I find that the Complainant has not established a basis for this complaint.
Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint.
For the above stated reasons I recommend that this complaint should fail.
Eugene Hanly Dated: 04/01/2017