ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION
Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00003458
Complaint(s)/Dispute(s) 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
Date of Adjudication Hearing: 03/10/2016
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Emer O'Shea
In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 [and/or Section 8(1B) of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977, and/or Section 9 of the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Act, 1984, and/or Section 79 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998, and/or Section 25 of the Equal Status Act, 2000] following the referral of the complaint(s)/dispute(s) to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint(s)/dispute(s) and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint(s)/dispute(s).
Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:
The claimant has been employed as a Clerical Officer with the respondent for the last 15 years.It was submitted that the claimant was occupying a post that operated at a higher level and that it met the criteria for regularisation under HRA Agreement Circular 017/2013.It was submitted that a supporting business case was submitted by the claimant’s line Managers to the respondent but this was not approved by the Area Manager.An appeals process was advised to staff on the 17th.July 2015 but the clamant was on annual leave/parental leave at the time and was not made aware of same.The claimant only learned of the Appeal Process inadvertently through a colleague and when she pursued the matter through HR she was advised that it was too late to accommodate an appeal.The claimant’s line manager emailed the appeal’s office on behalf of the claimant but was advised that they were not taking latte applications.
The claimant’s representative set out the duties and responsibilities of the claimant’s post.It was submitted that her role was identical to that of other Grade IV’s within payroll throughout the respondents employment areas.This was acknowledged by the claimant’s line managers.It was submitted that the claimant’s colleagues in neighbouring counties undertaking the same work were operating at Grade 1V level.It was contended that by virtue of having missed out on the appeals process the claimant had incurred a financial loss of €3656.30, a loss in incremental progression and had incurred an adverse impact on her superannuation.
Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:
The respondent set out the background to the Appeals process and explained the profile of the posts that had been submitted for regularisation.It was acknowledged that the Area Manager had endorsed posts that were similar to the claimants.Six staff had pursued their appeals through the agreed process and all six were successful.It was accepted that the claimant’s line manager had omitted to notify the claimant of the appeals process but it was emphasised that this omission was entirely unintentional.It was acknowledged by the respondent that the claimant performed a responsible role, that all other staff undertaking similar roles were graded at Grade IV level , that some of the 6 staff who had successfully appealed were undertaking similar roles to the claimant .It was submitted that as the claim was cost increasing , the respondent was not in a position to regrade the post and the respondent recommended that the post be forwarded for job evaluation.
I have reviewed the evidence presented at the hearing and noted the respective positions of the parties.There is no dispute regarding the level of work the claimant is undertaking and it is accepted by both parties that she is operating at Grade IV level in practise.While I fully acknowledge that the failure to notify the claimant of the appeals process was unintentional and I acknowledge the bona fides of the claimant’s line manager who has admitted this oversight, I find that it would be most unfair to expect the claimant to await the outcome of a potential lengthy job evaluation process in circumstances where:
a)It is accepted that the claimant is doing Grade IV work
b)The responsibility for failing to notify the claimant of the Appeals process rested with the respondent and
c)all 6 appeals from the claimant’s catchment area were successful.
Consequently, I am upholding the complaint and recommend that the claimant be regularised with effect from and under the same terms as her 6 colleagues who lodged successful appeals.
Dated: 30th January 2017