Case Number: ADJ-00000002. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000002
Date22 November 2016
PartiesA Sales Assistant v A Retailer
Procedure:

In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 and Section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act 1969 and following the referral of the dispute to me by the Director General, I inquired into the dispute and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the dispute.

Background:

Mandate were in dispute with the Respondent in relation to the Complainant’s pay rate.

Summary of Trade Union Case:

My Employer has maintained a 7.5% pay differential between me and my colleagues who carry out the same duties.

Mandate said that the dispute relates to the Complainant not receiving a 7.5% pay differential by the Respondent to which Mandate maintains she is entitled.

Mandate said the Complainant commenced employment with the Respondent as a General Sales Assistant with the Respondent at a named store on 22nd September 1986. She is employed on a full-time 39 hour week basis and has 3 rostered late night hours per week, which are paid at the overtime rate of double time. Her current pay rate is €14.31c per hour. For the last 24 years she has been working in the cash office, a position that carries responsibility suitable only to employees with a proven record of accuracy, accountability, honesty and discipline to process and procedures which are regularly audited and tested.

Mandate said that the Complainant in common with other colleagues received a 7.5% pay differential in addition to her normal hourly pay rate for chargehand covering duties she was required to perform when her Chargehand was off work. The Complainant was the designated person for chargehand cover of the Cash Office business.

Mandate said that prior to and for a period after 2001 the Respondent introduced into their new and replacement stores the role of Section Manager. For a number of years this role was in conflict with that which already existed, namely the chargehand role. Through protracted negotiations the Respondent and the trade unions finalised an Agreement, known as the Management Structure Agreement 2006. This Agreement, amongst other things presented a number of options to those employees then in the chargehand role and provided for the non-replacement of a chargehand in the event she or he left the employment and the Agreement also provided monies for those employees designated to cover their respective chargehands during their absence from work. This Agreement was designed to and in the main saw the gradual erosion of the chargehand role within the employment. Mandate said that this Agreement applied to all the existing chargehands in the employment, including the Store the Complainant worked in.

On 5th June 2009, the Complainant attended an in-store local management/union meeting. In attendance were the Complainant another named Union Representative, the local store manager and named local management representative. The Union Representative asked the Store Manager why his and another colleague’s rate of pay was being reduced. He was informed that they were not performing any management duties, but when the union representative referred to another named colleague was in receipt of this pay rate the Store Manager stated that person was carrying out managerial duties, such as product ordering and organising staff roster. When the Union Representative informed that he was performing similar work the Store Manager then stated that the Union Representative and his colleague would receive the 7.5% pay rate differential until a Section Manager was appointed.

The Complainant immediately informed the Store Manager that she was in a similar situation, that in 2006 she lost her 7.5% pay differential when her Chargehand left the employment. She also informed the Store Manager that she was seeking restoration of this pay differential for the same reasons as her colleagues. The Store Manager never responded and he was subsequently transferred from the store in which the Complainant and the...

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