SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Foley
Employer Member: Mr Marie
Worker Member: Mr McCarthy
1. An appeal of an Adjudication Officer Decision No(s)ADJ-00018166 CA-00023420-001
2. This matter was referred to an Adjudication Officer for investigation and Recommendation. On 29 May 2019 the Adjudication Officer issued his Recommendation.
The employee appealed the Adjudication Officer’s Recommendation to the Labour Court on 5 July 2019 in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969.
A Labour Court hearing took place on 28 August 2019
The Court has given careful consideration to the written and oral submissions of the parties.
The worker is graded as a HR/IR Officer and maintains that she carries out functions and tasks equivalent to a colleague who is graded as an Executive. She submits that the colleague is on a pay scale with a maximum point of €89,075 whereas the pay scale attaching to her grade has a maximum pointy of €66,806. She seeks to be placed on the same pay scale as her colleague. In the alternative she seeks to be appointed to the HSE General Manager pay scale which has a maximum point of €85,912.
The employer submits that both the colleague and the Claimant occupy red-circled historical pay scales which are not HSE pay scales. The scales reflect the fact that they both worked for a body which previously existed independently, but which was subsumed into the HSE many years ago. The employer submits that the grades of both individuals were never a part of the HSE grade structure and that all appointments for many years have been to the HSE recognised scales. The employer submits that the role being carried out by the Claimant could reasonably be judged to be appropriate to the HSE Grade VIII. That grade attracts a pay scale which has a maximum point of €80,475. The employer submitted that the Claimant, having regard to relevant rules and agreements, could not simply be appointed to a Grade VIII position but would have to participate and be successful in a competition in order to be appointed to the grade.
The Court has no basis for assessing whether the Claimant is performing a role consistent with the roles carried out by persons occupying the grade of General Manager in the HSE. Neither can the Court support the proposition that the Claimant should be appointed to a red circled historical scale to which no appointments have been made for many years.
The position of the employer is, in the view of the Court, unsustainable. The employer has submitted to the Court that the Claimant is carrying out a role which can be viewed as appropriate to Grade VIII. The implication of this position of the employer is that she is being required to carry out a role at the Grade of HR/IR Officer which the employer believes is a Grade VIII Role.
In all of the circumstances, the Court recommends that the employer address the unsustainable nature of its position as outlined to the Court. The employer should make whatever arrangements are necessary to ensure that the Claimant is placed on the scale which is appropriate to the role she carries out. The employer’s view is that the appropriate scale for this role is that of Grade VIII. It is not a matter for the Court to determine whether the removal of the clear anomaly requires the holding of a competition, but the Court cannot support the proposition that the Claimant should continue to carry out a role which is appropriate to Grade VIII while continuing to be paid as a HR/IR Officer.
The Court has regard to the fact that, while the within grievance was raised by the Claimant in November 2018, the issue of a disconnect between grade and the role may have persisted for some years previously. In those circumstances the Court recommends that the employer should pay to the Claimant the sum of €7,500 in compensation for any delay in addressing the clear anomaly outlined to the Court.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
29 August 2019Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to David Campbell, Court Secretary.