Case Number: ADJ-00000124. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000124
Date01 October 2016
PartiesA security guard v A Security Services Provider

Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00000124

Complaints for Resolution:


Complaint Reference No.

Date of Receipt

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 77 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998


5th October 2015

Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 77 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998


5th October 2015

Date of Adjudication Hearing: 5th May 2016

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Kevin Baneham


On the 5th October 2015, the complainant referred complaints pursuant to the Employment Equality Acts to the Workplace Relations Commission. The complaints were scheduled for adjudication on the 5th May 2016. The complainant was in attendance at the adjudication and was accompanied by a friend. Two witnesses attended for the respondent and it was represented by Tiernan Doherty, IBEC.

At the outset of the adjudication, I outlined to the parties that I had previously heard a complaint from the same complainant regarding a previous employer, the transferor of a security service now operated by the respondent, the transferee. I outlined that the complainant had been successful in this earlier Employment Equality complaint.

In accordance with Section 79 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998 following the referral of the complaints to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaints and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaints.

Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:

The complainant is a security guard and works for the respondent. He is assigned to stores of a large supermarket chain. He outlines that the most recent date of discrimination was the 18th June 2015. He indicates that he was subject to discriminatory treatment on grounds of race in not being provided with a contract of employment or a uniform and in not being allocated hours of work. He also states that he was subject to harassment by the respondent and lodges an equal pay claim. A decision issued by a Rights Commissioner had not been complied with and there was a delay in reinstating him. He had been asked to sign a backdated contract that contained the wrong information. There had been one week in August 2015 when he had not been paid.

The complainant further outlined that he had not been allocated work between the 24th December 2014 and the 11th August 2015 and that he should be compensated for this. He outlines that he is now allocated work further away from his home, meaning that he has higher expenses in travelling to work. At the large store where he now works, he states that 90% of his colleagues are paid breaks, including one named comparator. He is not paid breaks. He acknowledged that one or two Irish colleagues are not paid breaks. He outlined that he is being penalised by the respondent for not signing the contract provided by the respondent.

The complainant also raised issues of a delay in paying him wages as well as the provision of paid annual leave. He said that he ought to have been allocated work closer to his home, naming a store in which he had previously worked. He said that he was not paid a Sunday premium and that his grievances were ignored. As well as the issue of unpaid breaks, he outlined that during his breaks he was not able to leave the building and had to stay on radio. He also said that he had been allocated work for 12 consecutive days over Christmas by the site manager. He had not been provided with annual leave over Christmas and Easter. The complainant outlined that he had been victimised because the shifts allocated to him meant that he had to leave the job.

The complainant outlined that security at the store was provided by a mix of respondent security staff and staff employed directly by the supermarket. There was a 50-50 split between Irish and non-Irish staff. There were three Polish guards employed by the respondent on site.

In reply to the respondent, the complainant said that he had already raised the issues of his unpaid Sunday premium and night work, but these issues had not been addressed. The complainant further referred to a job advertisement of the respondent of the 16th June 2015 where they indicate that they pay JLC rates. In respect of the contract, there was no reason to have a May date on the contract of employment and this was only shown to him in August. The date of the relevant Rights Commissioner hearing was the 18th June 2015. In respect of breaks, the complainant said that he was a key holder and had to take his breaks in the canteen and be on radio. While this was not always the case, it did happen. He had raised this issue in an email with the respondent. He named a comparator (a Polish colleague) who was paid breaks when he was not paid breaks. He also said that there were more convenient locations of work for him to be assigned to.

In written submissions, the complainant states that he was discriminated against by the respondent in not getting a job and in respect of the following matters: lack of a proper contract, uniform and a two-month delay in finding him a work placement. He raises his entitlement to payment during this time as well as travel expenses and issues related to working time (rostering, annual leave, rest periods and paid breaks). He provides references from the store in which he now works as well as pay slips, rosters and correspondence exchanged by the parties.

Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:

The respondent outlined that the complainant has not established a prima facie case of discrimination in advancing his claim. It outlined that the store where the complainant had initially worked scaled back its hours as it was no longer open for 24 hours. At the time of the transfer of undertaking, the complainant had been assigned to a different store, but this was not one of the stores which the respondent had won a tender to provide services to. This and the complainant's original store were now in the hands of a competitor security provider.

Between December 2014 and August 2015, there had been a dispute over the rate of pay due to the complainant. While this had been referred to a Rights Commissioner, what had issued was only a suggestion. The respondent did not owe a back payment to the complainant. From October 2015, the complainant was at work and assigned to a large supermarket where he was on €10.75 per hour.

The respondent outlined that it employed some 300 personnel, of which 50% were Irish and 50% were not. The complainant is not paid breaks and annual leave is paid on rolling basis. It was open for employees to request an advance payment but this could lead to a later shortfall in income. It was practice for the respondent to hold a week back so that wages were paid nine days in arrears across the board. It did not accept that the complainant could not go off radio during breaks. It outlined that the contract of employment was dated May as this was when the Rights Commissioner suggested the complainant return to employment. The return to work did not occur until later.

In respect of victimisation, the complainant outlined that there was no substance to this claim. The respondent had already righted a wrong in respect of rates of pay. The complainant had been treated in the same way as others.

The respondent’s written submissions refer to an appeal to the Labour Court, held on the 28th April 2016 (a week before this adjudication). It acknowledges that it owes the complainant the amount of €1,630.72 and submits that the complainant’s TUPE appeal should fail.

Findings and reasoning:


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