SECTION 8 (1), TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT (INFORMATION) ACTS, 1994 TO 2012
OFFICE OF PUBLIC WORKS
(REPRESENTED BY MR GLEN GIBBONS BL INSTRUCTED BY MR TONY JOYCE (CSSO)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY RICHARD GROGAN & ASSOCIATES)
Chairman: Mr Haugh
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Ms O'Donnell
1. Appeal of Adjudication Officer's Decision No:-r-155483-te-15/EH.
2. This is an appeal under Section 8(1) of the Terms of Employment (Information) Acts, 1994 to 2012. A Labour Court hearing took place on 6 December 2016. The following is the Court's Determination:
Background to the Complaint
Mr Grogan, Solicitor, submits on behalf of the Complainant that the name of the employer as stated in the contract of employment received by the Complainant from the Respondent is technically incorrect and that, consequently, the Complainant has been denied a fundamental entitlement under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 (“the Act”). The Complainant’s employer is identified as the Office of Public Works in her contract of employment. Mr Grogan submits that the correct legal entity which should have been identified is the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland. Mr Grogan – although he accepts that his client has not suffered any financial detriment arising from the alleged breach of the Act – emphasised the importance of an individual being in a position to identify the correct legal entity against which to issue proceedings. He informed the Court that he is seeking a remedy pursuant to section 7 of the Act for his client as well as financial compensation. He submits that section 7 of the Act gives this Court “an inherent jurisdiction to direct the remedial amendment of the Complainant’s contract of employment”.
Mr Gibbons BL on behalf of the Respondent submits that the Complainant’s employer is correctly identified in her contract of employment as the Office of Public Works. He furnished the Court with a comprehensive written submission setting out the history of the establishment of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland (under the Public Works (Ireland) Act 1831) along with the role of the Office of Public Works. It is not necessary to reproduce the detail of that submission here. However, in the Court’s view, of particular significance is the fact that the annual Appropriation Act as enacted by the Oireachtas each year since 1922 has consistently made provision for the funding of the Office of Public Works – including salaries, wages and allowances payable to the employees of that body. Counsel also listed a number of proceedings that have been taken in various courts – including this one – in which the Respondent/Defendant was named as the Office of Public Works. There is no evidence of the Respondent in any of those proceedings having sought to refuse to accept service of proceedings against it on the basis that those proceedings should have issued against the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland or otherwise.
Discussion and Decision
The Court has no doubt, having considered the detailed written submissions furnished to it and the oral evidence adduced before it that the Complainant’s employer for the purposes of the Act is the Office of Public Works. There is, therefore, no breach – technical or otherwise – of the Act. The appeal, consequently, fails.
The Court so determines.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18 January 2017______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Michael Neville, Court Secretary.