ADJUDICATION OFFICER RECOMMENDATION
Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00003753
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: Ardboyne Hotel, Navan, Co. Meath
Date of Adjudication Hearing: 10/11/2016
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: John Walsh
In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and under 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 has been employed with the Respondent since 1985. He is currently employed as senior Administrative Officer at Grade VIII. He alleges that he has been carrying out a Dual Duty function since June 2007 and has been paid a Dual Duty allowance for this work. His colleague who is in a similar position has been regularised to a GM level. The Complainant was in a similar position to his colleague and sought to be regularised in a similar manner. The Regularisation process was discontinued. He filed a complaint with the Workplace Relations Commission on the 20th of June, 2016.
The Complainant outlined the following submission:
That he is currently employed as a Grade VIII Level, reporting to a General Manager.
That he has been carrying out a Dual Duty function since June 2007.
That he has been paid a Dual Duty allowance for this work.
That his colleague who is in a similar situation has been regularised to General Manager Level.
That he manages an additional 17 staff as well as the existing 30 staff that he manages in his role as a Senior Administrative Officer.
His colleague was regularised to the role General Manager. He only manages 3 staff in total.
That he feels he should be regularised to the role of General Manager on the basis that his colleague was allowed to be regularised.
He pursued his case for an upgrade to General Manager with the Respondent but was not successful internally.
That he was aware that there was an appeal procedure in relation to Circular 17/2013 which allowed for an appeal to an independent arbitrator. However, he failed to put his appeal to this body and this process has now been extinguished.
The following is a summary of the Respondent’s submission:
The Complainant is currently employed on a Grade VIII level, reporting to a General Manager. He is in receipt of a Dual Duty allowance. This allowance was provided to the Complainant to compensate him for taking on extra duties. In 2007, there was a restructuring of the Primary Care Services within the region. At the time, there was a Director of Primary Care, a General Manager and an Accountant in the service. At that time the restructuring of the Service resulted in some aspects of the Primary Care being delivered through the Local Health Offices. When the Director of Primary Care moves to the Local Health Office, the General Manager took over responsibility for the remaining aspects of primary care.
The General Manager of Primary Care took up another GM role within the community and the role of managing the Primary Care Service was distributed between the Complainant and one of his colleagues who was an accountant within the Primary care area. Both were paid Dual Duty allowance for the extra duties they took on. The complainant is still in receipt of a Dual Duty allowance. The Complainant pursued his case for an upgrade to General Manager and was not successful internally.
Promotions and appointments to any post within the organisation are normally managed through the National Recruitment Service. Following the Haddington Road agreement, provision was made to put in place a process to make appointments under circular 17/2013. The circular put in place a number of criteria whereby staff who had been in long term acting positions could apply to have their positions regularised. There was an appeal mechanism built into this process which allowed any staff who was not happy with the outcome of their application to bring the matter to an appeal officer. It was agreed that the outcome of the appeal process would be binding on all parties involved. It was the responsibility of each employee who felt that they had a case for regularisation to apply under Circular 17/2013. The Complainant did not make an application under this process. The Regularisation process is now closed.
The Complainant has provided a comparator to justify his claim for General Manager Status. This person was appointed as General Manager following application under circular 17/2013. The Complainant cannot be appointed to a General Manager post as there is no vacancy. Even if there was a vacancy, the post would have to be advertised and filled through an open competition. The Complainant may claim that he is carrying out work similar to work carried out by his colleague. However, there is no mechanism within the organisation to appoint anyone to a higher grade without going through the recognised process.
The Complainant is basing his claim on the fact that a work colleague was regularised under Circular 17/2013. The Complainant did not make any application under this process despite the fact he was fully aware that it was in existence. The Regularisation process is now closed. The Respondent advised that there is no General Manager post available so they are unable to facilitate his request.
Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under Schedule 6 of that Act and under Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969.
Based on the evidence presented at the hearing, I find that this complaint is not well founded and therefore fails.
Dated: 3 January 2017