Imposing wage cuts without consultation ” Not reasonable”- WRC

Activists should read this report and consider the findings which favours the applicant( Worker) in defending their wages.

 

Findings:

Findings and Conclusions:

This is a complaint pursuant to the Payment of Wages Act. The Payment of Wages Act 1991 sets out as follows:

5.— (1) An employer shall not make a deduction from the wages of an employee (or receive any payment from an employee) unless—

(a) the deduction (or payment) is required or authorised to be made by virtue of any statute or any instrument made under statute,

(b) the deduction (or payment) is required or authorised to be made by virtue of a term of the employee’s contract of employment included in the contract before, and in force at the time of, the deduction or payment, or

(c) in the case of a deduction, the employee has given his prior consent in writing to it.

(2) An employer shall not make a deduction from the wages of an employee in respect of—

(a) any act or omission of the employee, or

(b) any goods or services supplied to or provided for the employee by the employer the supply or provision of which is necessary to the employment,

unless—

(i) the deduction is required or authorised to be made by virtue of a term (whether express or implied and, if express, whether oral or in writing) of the contract of employment made between the employer and the employee, and

(ii) the deduction is of an amount that is fair and reasonable having regard to all the circumstances (including the amount of the wages of the employee), and

(iii) before the time of the act or omission or the provision of the goods or services, the employee has been furnished with—

(I) in case the term referred to in subparagraph (i)is in writing, a copy thereof,

(II) in any other case, notice in writing of the existence and effect of the term,

and

(iv) in case the deduction is in respect of an act or omission of the employee, the employee has been furnished, at least one week before the making of the deduction, with particulars in writing of the act or omission and the amount of the deduction, and

(v) in case the deduction is in respect of compensation for loss or damage sustained by the employer as a result of an act or omission of the employee, the deduction is of an amount not exceeding the amount of the loss or the cost of the damage, and

(vi) in case the deduction is in respect of goods or services supplied or provided as aforesaid, the deduction is of an amount not exceeding the cost to the employer of the goods or services, and

(vii) the deduction or, if the total amount payable to the employer by the employee in respect of the act or omission or the goods or services is to be so paid by means of more than one deduction from the wages of the employee, the first such deduction is made not later than 6 months after the act or omission becomes known to the employer or, as the case may be, after the provision of the goods or services.

Complaint to adjudication officer undersection 41 of Workplace Relations Act 2015

6. (1) A decision of an adjudication officer under section 41 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015, in relation to a complaint of a contravention of section 5 as respects a deduction made by an employer from the wages of an employee or the receipt from an employee by an employer of a payment, that the complaint is, in whole or in part, well founded as respects the deduction or payment shall include a direction to the employer to pay to the employee compensation of such amount (if any) as he considers reasonable in the circumstances not exceeding —

(a) the net amount of the wages (after the making of any lawful deduction therefrom) that —

(i) in case the complaint related to a deduction, would have been paid to the employee in respect of the week immediately preceding the date of the deduction if the deduction had not been made, or

(ii) in case the complaint related to a payment, were paid to the employee in respect of the week immediately preceding the date of payment,

or

(b) if the amount of the deduction or payment is greater than the amount referred to in paragraph (a), twice the former amount.

(2) (a) An adjudication officer shall not give a decision referred to in subsection (1) in relation to a deduction or payment referred to in that subsection at any time after the commencement of the hearing of proceedings in a court brought by the employee concerned in respect of the deduction or payment.

(b) An employee shall not be entitled to recover any amount in proceedings in a court in respect of such a deduction or payment as aforesaid at any time after an adjudication officer has given a decision referred to in subsection (1) in relation to the deduction or payment.

The Payment of Wages Act prohibits the making of deductions from an employee’s wages unless required or authorised by the Act or the employee has consented to the deduction.

It is for the Complainant to show in the first instance that wages were properly payable to her and not paid by the Respondent. 

The evidence presented to me was that while the Respondent expected a downturn in income, the ultimate outcome was not as bad as expected. Revenue for 2020 was down 12% on 2019.  The Respondent for a period implemented the Temporary Wage Subsidies Scheme (TWSS). However, it did not meet the eligibility criteria and repaid the amount it received to the Irish Exchequer.

As regards the variation clause in the Complainant’s contract, such clauses are intended to permit minor non-material changes, which do not relate to core terms, such as updates to reflect changes in law or statute or a change in a work practice.

While I accept that the Respondent experienced difficulties due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, I do not accept that the decision to impose the deductions in the Complainant’s salary was reasonable and proportionate considering the Respondent was a multi-national Company and the work the Complainant was doing was not greatly impacted by the Pandemic. 

Imposing pay cuts, even of a temporary nature, without consultation or consent, by reliance on such variation clauses is not reasonable.

I accept the Complainants evidence that 15% of her wages were deducted by the Respondent.   I do not accept that this was a reduction in pay. 

My power under the Payment of Wages Act is to make an order in relation to complaints preceding the date on which the complaint was made.  The complaint was made on the 15/5/2020.

The deductions made to the Complainants pay were spread over five pay periods and were in the following amounts:

Pay period 8 Paid on 17 April 2020 €174.70 (gross)

Pay period 9 Paid on 1 May 2020 €218.38 (gross)

Pay period 10 Paid on 15 May 2020 €218.38 (gross)

Pay period 11 Paid on 29 May 2020 €218.38 (gross)

Pay period 12 Paid on 12 June 2020 €109.19 (gross)

The Complainant was paid fortnightly in arrears.  My jurisdiction in this case covers pay periods 8,9 10 and 11.

 

 

Decision:

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

I decide that the complaint is well-founded, and that the Respondent shall pay to the Complainant compensation that is reasonable of €829.84.

 

Dated:  June 21st 2021

1990 Industrial Relation Act. It must go. Join A Union

The 1990 industrial relations act took power from workers and transferred it to employers & the courts.

It was inspired by Margaret Thatcher’s anti-worker laws in Britain.

What it took Thatcher several acts to achieve the Irish government got all in one, the 1990 Industrial Relations Act.

Unions must get radical or they will become redundant.

Abolish the 1990 Industrial Relations Act

It’s about the balance of power.

What is the 1990 Industrial Relations Act?
1990 act explained Read here:👇
https://socialistvoice.ie/…/what-is-the-industrial-relati…/…(1990,from%20criminal%20and%20civil%20liability.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS BOOKLET

 

Mandate Launch Exciting and Exclusive Training for Licensed Trade Members

Tuesday 22 June 2021

An exciting and exclusive Mandate Trade Union training initiative has been launched today Tuesday 22nd June 2021 by Jonathan Hogan, Mandate National Coordinator.  Mr Hogan commenting at the launch said, “We are offering a free hospitality training bundle exclusive for all our active licensed trade members. Many employees in pubs and hospitality have, through no fault of their own, lost their jobs and many have suffered financial loss since the onset of the global pandemic. This is an exciting once in a lifetime opportunity for some of our members to avail of a free bespoke comprehensive training package that could potentially be a life changing experience.”

Mandate in partnership with Olive Media have launched this learning initiative which they hope might form an employment stepping stone whilst assisting unemployed members towards improving their Curriculum Vitae with the objective of re-entering employment within the licensed trade sector.

Mr Hogan continued “As a progressive trade union we endeavour to support and facilitate those members who wish to either transfer their skills or to upskill within the hospitality industry for future employment opportunities. We have evidenced many of our members within the licensed trade being forced to seek alternative employment opportunities albeit on temporary contracts within the retail sector since the commencement of the pandemic. Many of these members are expressing a strong desire to return to working within the licensed trade sector when normality fully returns to our workplaces. Mandate will support our members already working within the license trade or seeking to return to the sector through this exclusive upskilling initiative.”

 

 

Return to Work Safely Briefing Seminar for Bar Workers

Tuesday 1 June 2021

Do you work or know someone who works as a Barperson, a Chef/Cook or Waiting Staff in a licensed premises who has either recently returned to work or is due to return to work in the coming days?

Do you/they have concerns around COVID-19 and returning to work safely.

Then look no further. Mandate Trade Union are hosting a Return to Work Safely Briefing Seminar for all licensed premises workers on Thursday 03rd June 2021 at 3pm online via Zoom.

This Seminar is open to both Members & Non-Members of Mandate Trade Union working in the licensed trade sector.

All you have to do is pre-register by clicking here and entering your details: https://tinyurl.com/mkafduzb

Demand for mandatory face masks in social welfare offices

Customers going to shops, banks, hair salons and bookmakers are compelled by law to wear a face mask, but it’s not obligatory in busy social welfare offices that thousands of often-vulnerable people visit in the course of a week.

That’s why delegates to Fórsa’s civil service conference today (Friday) backed calls for face masks to be compulsory in Intreo centres and other civil service public offices.

Speaking from the conference today, the head of Fórsa’s civil service division, Derek Mullen, welcomed the recent re-opening of cultural institutions, libraries and non-essential retail outlets. “We can enjoy these facilities because the law says we must all wear face coverings in shops, libraries, museums, banks, post offices, credit unions, and hair salons and on public transport.

“But this is not the case in public offices across the civil service. These are places that members of the public must visit for essential business, including getting a basic income. They – and the staff who serve them – deserve the same protection and respect as shoppers and shop workers.

“Throughout the pandemic, social welfare staff went in to work and processed two years’ worth of claims in a matter of weeks. Those pandemic unemployment payments made the difference for hundreds of thousands of people who lost their jobs. Yet the staff who did, and are doing, so much for their fellow citizens are being denied the safety standards common in other public places,” he said.

Mr Mullen wrote to health minister Stephen Donnelly almost two months ago, seeking an amendment to official regulations on mandatory face coverings to include Department of Social Protection public offices.

“Despite strict adherence to official Covid-19 safety requirements, we have seen a number of Covid-19 clusters in Intreo centres. Staff are also concerned that anti-maskers will target social protection offices because face coverings are not compulsory. We have examples of anti-maskers arriving at Intreo centres with legislation in hand and correctly asserting that, under the law, they don’t have to wear a face covering. This, and the recent Covid clusters, are deeply distressing and a real concern to staff who don’t have the same protections as other workers in identical or similar settings,” he said.

 

Government under pressure on remote work

The Government is set to come under renewed pressure to negotiate public service-wide safeguards on remote working after Fórsa’s Civil Service Division today (Friday) added its voice to calls for a formal agreement on the issue.

The union says a formal agreement is needed to ensure fair access to remote working arrangements across the civil and public service. It has called for the consistent application of agreed guidelines on identifying functions that can be performed remotely, and for selecting staff to be allocated to home working arrangements.

Fórsa has called for the consistent application of agreed guidelines on identifying functions that can be performed remotely, and for selecting staff to be allocated to home working arrangements.

 

Fórsa says an agreement is needed to prevent individual civil service departments, organisations or managers from withholding the option of remote working without an objective reason.

The union submitted a formal claim to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) in late March, but no engagement has started yet.

Speaking at the Fórsa’s civil service conference today, its Head of Civil Service, Derek Mullen, said 70% his members had worked productively at home at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have witnessed outstanding and productive responses from the public service throughout the last year and we believe that we can continue in that vein into the future. The world of work has been forced to examine itself as a result of Covid-19, and it’s clear that working arrangements can and will change to take account of the new paradigm.

“We know what’s possible once the correct supports are in place. Now we are demanding clear criteria for the selection of staff who will work remotely, along with full compliance with health and safety measures, including mental health, support for those working remotely, and the right to disconnect.

“Importantly, there should be no divergence from existing terms and conditions of employment, including for new hires, for whom remote working should never be a condition of employment,” he said.

Mr Mullen said his union favoured a blended approach, with remote workers spending some time in the office, as this was the strong preference of most Fórsa members surveyed on the issue last summer. He added that remote working should be voluntary, and that remote workers should have access to any flexible working arrangements in place in physical work locations.

Fórsa says a formal agreement needs to be negotiated under the auspices of the new public service agreement, Building Momentum, which commits public service management and unions to accommodate “the potential of remote working where appropriate in line with the Programme for Government” and to establish the public service “as a driver of best practice in this area.”

There should be no divergence from existing terms and conditions of employment, including for new hires, for whom remote working should never be a condition of employment.

 

Making Remote Work, the Government’s remote working strategy, which was published in January, developed Programme for Government commitments on remote working and pledged to make remote working the norm for 20% of public sector staff.

Mr Mullen also praised civil servants who had continued to work from offices and other work locations throughout the pandemic. “In social protection, it is estimated that two years’ worth of claims were processed in a matter of weeks, with over 60% of our members continuing to attend at Intreo centres and other offices. Those pandemic unemployment payments, made the difference for all those who lost their jobs.

“We delivered in social welfare, in Revenue with its temporary wage subsidy schemes, in agriculture, in justice, in the customs service and at border controls. Our law services continued, civilian staff continued to attend at Garda stations and many other departments and offices played their important part.

“It was an enormous effort and it continues to this day and I have never been more proud, after almost 40 years with the trade union movement, to represent our members in the civil service,” he said.

Read the Fórsa claim.

***

Fórsa’s civil service biennial divisional conference takes place online today (Friday 28th May). The union represents over 30,000 civil servants in clerical, executive, professional and technical grades.

The conference can be viewed HERE.

A full conference agenda is available HERE, and a the division’s report is available HERE.

 

1578477695950_KNOW YOUR RIGHTS BOOKLET

SIPTU welcomes extension of vaccinator role to radiographers and radiation therapists

SIPTU representatives have today (Monday, 24th May) welcomed confirmation from the Department of Health that radiographers, radiation therapists and other certain student health workers can apply to be vaccinators as part of the National Covid-19 vaccination programme.

SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Kevin Figgis, said: “For months, intensive efforts were made by SIPTU representatives to ensure our members who are qualified were afforded the opportunity to participate in the Covid-19 vaccination programme. The original statutory instrument provided for nursing, medical practitioners and some other health professionals to apply to be vaccinators. Our members then campaigned for the inclusion of radiographers, radiation therapists and certain student grades to be included in any revised statutory instrument.”

He added: “Our members argued that widening the eligibility of vaccinators, especially as more vaccines become available, is crucial for getting the country back up and running. We believe that the more vaccinators that can be trained up and put to work, the quicker our health service and our society can regroup and recover.”

 

Mandate Extends Solidarity to Palestinian Day of Action and General Strike

Mandate Extends Solidarity to Palestinian Day of Action and General Strike

Monday 17 May 2021

Gerry Light, Mandate General Secretary, today extended Mandate union’s heartfelt solidarity on behalf of Mandate members towards the “Palestine for a Day of Action” and General Strike taking place in Palestine tomorrow, Tuesday, May 18th!

Light said, “Hundreds of thousands – millions of people in fact – in many cities across the globe have taken to the streets to demand an end to the deadly Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip. The global outpouring of anger at the murdering Israeli war machine as well as deep concern for the lives of innocent Palestinian men, women and children must now be channelled into a global resistance against the indiscriminate actions of the Israeli. We stand in defiant solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza and Palestine.

Mr Light continued, “The indiscriminate and abhorrent nature of the Israeli air raids has simply pummelled the Gaza Strip over the past few days. Nearly 200 Palestinians, including 58 children, have been killed over the past few days and it is beholden on trade unions to amplify our anger and to stand together in the face of Israel’s brutal assaults on the human rights of the Palestinian people.”

Mandate Trade Union stands in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoner’s movement, labour unions, youth organisations and the numerous broad range of popular movements and mobilisations from the river to the sea inside occupied Palestine.

International News: Unite Members on Strike:

🚩

Day 1 on the picket line for our  members in Cheshire. Members are taking strike action in a dispute over working patterns and contracts of employment.

Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will begin strike action next month at the glass manufacturing and logistics company ENCIRC Ltd, based in Elton, Cheshire, in a dispute over working patterns and contracts of employment.

Less favourable treatment

The dispute involves workers in ENCIRC’s glass manufacturing section, who believe that they are being treated in a less favourable manner compared to the company’s other departments.

Over 170 workers were balloted for industrial action, as the introduction of flexible working practices has resulted in an insufficient pay uplift, the loss of flexibility when annual leave can be taken and a reduction in staffing levels giving rise to health and safety concerns.

Huge yes vote

The workers involved recorded a 95 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action.

A total of 12 days of strike action have been announced for next month with the first 48 hour strike beginning on Thursday 6 May. This will be followed by a further 48 strike beginning on Thursday 13 May. Later in the month there will be two four day stoppage beginning on Wednesday 19 May and Wednesday 26 May.

The strike action is set to lead to a major disruption to ENCIRC’s business and likely to cause a shortage of glass bottles for the company’s two major clients Diageo and AB InBev.

Brands affected

Popular brands that will be affected by the strike include Budweiser, Yellow Tail wine, Baileys, Coors Light, Jameson and Pataks curry brand.

Unite has sought to follow the existing dispute resolution process to resolve the industrial dispute, via the conciliation service Acas but the company has declined to discuss the core matters at the centre of the dispute.

Equality and fairness

Unite regional officer Andrew Johnson said: “This dispute is about equality and fairness, workers in the glass manufacturing division are not being treated in the same way as workers in other sections of the company.

 “If the strike goes ahead it will cause major disruption to the supply and distribution of major brands.

 “Given the overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action it is very disappointing and somewhat surprising that ENCIRC has not shown more determination to resolve this dispute and avert strike action.

 “Unite’s members are taking strike action as a last resort because their concerns have been ignored.”

 “Unite believes that if ENCRIC is prepared to address the concern of members this dispute could be resolved and strike action avoided, even at this late stage.”

 ENDS

Notes to editors:

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey. 

 

State supports crucial to aviation

Aviation’s late departure from Covid restrictions demands solid Government support – Fórsa

With thousands of aviation workers facing a financial cliff edge, has called for Government support, in the form of a bespoke aviation income support scheme, to underpin jobs and maintain the relationship between employers and employees during what’s likely to be a long period of recovery.

The call was made today by the union’s head of Services and Enterprises, Ashley Connolly, who warned that the aviation industry will be the last industry “out of the woods” in terms of Covid restrictions. Ms Connolly was responding to Department of Transport official Fintan Towey’s address to union’s Services and Enterprises conference, which is taking place online today (Thursday 13th May).

Three reports on the impact on the aviation industry produced in the last year are sitting on shelves and gathering dust.

 

Ms Connolly said three reports on the impact on the aviation industry had been produced in the last year, and while there was a lot of value in this work, she said the reports are “sitting on shelves and gathering dust.” She said it is for the Government to act on their recommendations “as a matter of urgency.”

Ms Connolly said the recent Government announcements on the easing of restrictions said virtually nothing about aviation at all: “For most of us, the announcement was about good news and hope. But that glaring omission left thousands of workers in aviation with a sense of dread – not just that their future remains uncertain, but that their situation was barely worth a mention.

“The Government needs to decide if the halt on the industry is to be permanent or temporary. Only the State has the power and resources to preserve Ireland’s vital international connectivity – the connectivity that supports thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs – over the coming months, and possibly years,” she said.

The union’s general secretary Kevin Callinan said the Government response to the aviation crisis, which is having an extremely negative effect on the Irish economy as a whole, continues to be “tardy and timid” and told delegates that Fórsa has mobilised members to put pressure on elected representatives: “We’ve taken every opportunity to lobby for State action to shore up the sector and its staff in the short-term, and to ensure its full recovery in the medium to long-term,” he said.

Fórsa has constantly impressed upon the Government that aviation companies which impose compulsory redundancies, or off-shoring, should not benefit from State aid funded by Irish taxpayers.

 

Mr Callinan added that the union has “constantly impressed upon the Government that aviation companies which impose compulsory redundancies, or off-shoring, should not benefit from State aid funded by Irish taxpayers.”

Ms Connolly said aviation workers needed the Government to do better, to provide political leadership and foresight, and a clear roadmap setting out the return to international travel and hope to families waiting for news that they can be reunited with the loved ones living abroad.

She said Fórsa continues to call for an industry-specific approach: “Capable of maintaining the relationship between employees and employers and to position airlines and others to quickly bounce back once travel restrictions can be eased.”

Ms Connolly called on the Department of Transport to implement a number of measures including:

  • Provide the necessary income supports to protect the jobs of these highly-skilled workers
  • Provide clear and precise guidance on when and how international travel will be allowed to resume
  • Send a clear message that we Ireland is open to key markets and will adopt the European Commission Green Digital Cert
  • Ms Connolly also called for affordable Covid testing, a reopening of the common travel area as the UK is “well ahead” in its vaccination programme, and that Ireland develop a clear travel corridor with the US
  • Engagement on plans for the future viability of our regional airports.

The chair of the union’s Services and Enterprises division, Niall Mullally (pictured), is a senior cabin crew manager in the aviation industry, and told the conference that his colleagues in aviation have experienced job losses, work practice abuses and severe wage cuts that have left them struggling: “Massive pay cuts and significant layoffs have been more difficult to endure in the total absence of a clear plan from Government to reopen the sector.

“The lack of a coherent plan has left many rightly fearful for their futures. Plans for the Green Digital passport to be rolled out across Europe is welcome, but without a plan from Government hope is mingled with uncertainty.

“From this week we are seeing different sectors reopening, which is encouraging after more than a year of restrictions, but there is no equivalent plan for aviation, an industry that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in Ireland.

“We need to maintain the focus winning these interventions for aviation, because so many industries, jobs, regions and communities are reliant on a vibrant and functional aviation industry,” he said.