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Payment of Wages Claim Well Founded, but Zero Compensation Awarded because of “Unprecedented” Global Pandemic

posted 1 year ago

The Labour Court (the “Court”) in Aer Lingus Limited v Caitriona Jones PW/22/181 considered an appeal against a decision of the Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) which found that the Payment of Wages complaint lodged by the Appellant, Ms Caitriona Jones, was not well founded. The Court upheld the appeal, but awarded zero compensation.

Facts: The Appellant commenced employment with the Respondent on 5th June 2018. The Covid-19 pandemic seriously affected the Respondent’s business, reducing its operational activity by more than 80%. As a result, the Respondent introduced changes to the hours and salary of all employees in its workforce, including the Appellant. Her hours of work were reduced to less than 50% of her contracted working hours thereby falling within the definition of “short-time” in the Redundancy Payments Act, 1967. As a result, she was paid €15,734.92 less than she would have been between 22nd March 2020 and 21st September 2020 (the date on which the WRC received her complaint i.e. the “Cognisable Period”), if her hours of work and pay had not been reduced.

 

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