Case Number: ADJ-00000086. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000086
Date30 March 2016
PartiesAn Employee -v- An Employer

Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00000086

Dispute 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, 1946



Date of Adjudication Hearing: 14/01/2016

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Patsy Doyle


In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and S.13 of the IR Act, 1946 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.

Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:

The Complainant commenced work as Mechanical fitter at the Respondent Company on 28 June 2001. By 2006, he was earning €16.50 per hour in that role.

In June, 2006. The complainant was promoted to the role of Senior Maintenance Fitter and he received a contract dated June 28, 2006 with a commencement date of July 3, 2006. The rate of pay was identified as €17.95 per hour and was conjointly signed by the complainant and the respondent on June 28, 2006 (A copy was submitted at the hearing which recorded “Your hourly rate will be euro 17.95)

The Complainant was not paid the agreed rate and instead received the rate of €17.65 per hour. This was undetected by the complainant until he consulted his contract when another issue arose. He sought to address his loss estimated at €7,647.90 both with his Managers at the time and subsequently via his Union but was unable to progress the matter to resolution. One of the contributing factors for the delay was reference to bi-located working on two sites.

The Complainants representative submitted two pay slips from the pre promotion and post promotion era in 2006 and in follow up to my request at the hearing, submitted the entire copy of the letter of offer and acceptance for the position. The pay slips from 2006 clearly demonstrate the variance in the hourly rate post promotion and the shortfall in € 17.95 per hour.

Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:

The Company disputed the claim. The respondent presented the context and background of a challenging trading back drop for the company with very narrow margins .The Company had been through a restructuring exercise which had resulted in significant job losses but was emerging slowly from these challenges.

Initially, the company understood that the contended overpayment dated from 2001 but it was common case at the hearing that the dispute centred on the payment that flowed to the complainant following a promotion in June/July 2006 i.e. the variance between € 17.65 and € 17.95 per hour.

The respondent submitted a copy of a signed letter of offer for the position of “Senior Maintenance Fitter “dated 28 June 2006. The signatures of acceptance were those of Mr P.C and Mr B, Manager and Complainant respectively. “Your hourly rate will be Euro 17.65” was outlined in Section 2, (Salary)

The respondent explained that the pay differential on promotion was agreed at 7% on the base salary of 16.50 i.e. bringing the revised salary to€ 17.65. They had no knowledge of the higher rate of €17.95 until the question of a repayment plan on an over payment was raised by the Operations Manager, Mr O .in mid 2014. At that time, the complainant desisted from agreeing a repayment plan, stating that he had raised the historical underpayment with “various managers over the years “.

The respondent submitted that the company’s policies provided for a clear protocol in the event of errors and omissions in salary.

1 Any error or omission must be communicated through an employee’s supervisor and will be corrected the following week.

2 All administrative errors will be corrected immediately.

The respondent was clear that the issue of underpayment had not been raised by the complainant prior to the question of the overpayment in 2014. They submitted a Memo to the Wages Dept. Dated 11 July 2006 which was signed by the Managing Director, Mr H.

“Mr B’s rate is changing from €16.5 to €17.65 “

They also submitted a two stage email dated 6 July 2006 from the Payroll Clerk , Ms D to Mr C ( co signature on the letter of Offer/Acceptance ) seeking a confirmation of Mr Bs’ new rate . On 7 July, Mr C replied stating “I think the figure is 17.65 euro….. 7% on top of his existing rate “

The respondent submitted that the complainant signed a revised contract of employment in 2009.

The respondent was keen to agree a repayment plan with the complainant on the 2014 overpayment as part of the resolution of this case.


Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 requires that I make a decision in relation to the dispute in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under Schedule 6 of that Act.

I have read and considered all oral and written submissions in this case. What has struck me in the first instance is the 15 year positive work history at the company. I am conscious that both parties have a strong desire to resolve this issue and move forward.

Letter of 28 June 2006

Both parties submitted the letter of offer and acceptance in their possession. The complainant submitted a photo copy which contains the exact replication of the respondents copy with two notable exceptions.

1 Salary: (Complainant) 1. Salary...

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