Mulcahy v O'Sullivan

CourtHigh Court
Judgment Date08 December 1944
Date08 December 1944

- Remuneration consisting of board and lodging in addition to wages at an agreed rate per annum - No written agreement - No fixed date for payment of wages -Small sums paid on account of wages at servant's request - Balance of account due struck at irregular intervals at servant's request - Whether a yearly hiring - Whether a demand for payment a condition precedent to master's liability for wages -Whether Statute of Limitations commenced to run before date of demand - Whether provisions of board and lodging constituted part payment so as to prevent the statute from running - Common Law Procedure Amendment Act (Ir.), 1853 (16 and 17 Vict. c. 113).

The plaintiff, in the year 1910, was engaged by D. as barmaid in D.'s hotel at a remuneration which consisted of board and lodging and wages at an agreed rate per annum. She was appointed manageress in the year 1926, by which time her wages had been increased to £30 per annum; she continued in D.'s employment until the date of D.'s death in the year 1938. There was no written agreement containing the terms of the plaintiff's employment. According to the plaintiff's evidence no term of employment had been mentioned, no provision had been made as to the mode of determining the contract, and no times had been fixed for payment of wages, but she "was to get money when I asked for it." The accounts between the parties showed that a balance was struck at irregular intervals, that wages were paid or calculated to a variety of dates, that the plaintiff received from time to time small payments on account of wages, that, in some instances when a balance was struck, she had been overpaid in advance and that in others a sum was shown as being due to her. The plaintiff also testified that it was at her request that a balance was struck from time to time, and that the small sums received by her (often for the specific purposes stated in the accounts) were paid to her when she asked for them. During the whole period of her employment the plaintiff received full board and lodging, but...

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