Case Number: ADJ-00000126-01. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00000126-01
Date04 August 2016
PartiesEmployer v Employee
Procedure:
  1. On the 12th October 2015, the complainant referred a dispute pursuant to the Industrial Relations Acts to the Workplace Relations Commission for adjudication. The complainant is a printer and the respondent is a public body.

  2. The dispute was scheduled for adjudication on the 29th January 2016. The complainant attended the hearing and he was represented by a union official. A work colleague accompanied the complainant as witness. The respondent was represented by a Human Resources Manager and two officials from an interested Government Department attended the adjudication.

  3. At the outset of the adjudication, I indicated that I had worked at the public body concerned and that I had also never been directly employed by the respondent. I left this role in 2005.

  4. In accordance with the Industrial Relations Acts 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.

Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:
  1. The complaint relates to the complainant’s pension entitlements, in particular the number of years of service attributed to him. In 1992, he commenced working as a printer and was employed by a political party. As part of reforms of the respondent, the printing service operated by each political party was centralised. In terms of his own employment, the complainant outlined that between 1992 and 2002 he had been directly employed by a political party and worked off-site. Between 2003 and 2007, he was physically located in the respondent and engaged via the respondent Secretarial Scheme. In 2007, his employment was transferred to the respondent, where he continues to be employed.

  2. The complainant outlined that he and the printers employed by other political parties together negotiated with the respondent at the time they were to be directly employed by the respondent. He said that he and his colleague (in attendance at the adjudication) negotiated with representatives of the respondent, including with one senior official not present at the hearing. The complainant raised with this official the question of whether his 10 years of service with the political party and his four years of service on the Secretarial Scheme would be reckonable service. He received assurances from the official that they would be included as part of his service. He outlined that he would not have agreed to sign the contract of employment with the respondent had he not received the assurance given by the official. He and his colleagues would have continued to negotiate. He took the statement made by or on behalf of the respondent at face value. He later sought a letter of comfort from the respondent but none was provided. His position was different to the other printers as they had always been in-house, i.e. engaged via the Secretarial Scheme.

  3. The complainant outlined that he wished to have the years of service since 1992 taken into account as service. He indicated that he did not expect to have the full 10 years recognised. He said that the AVC he accrued at the political party had had a value of €13,000, but this had reduced to €10,000 at the time of the adjudication.

  4. The colleague outlined that he had been shop steward for the negotiations. The named senior...

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