A man, originally from Eastern Europe has been awarded almost €10,000 following a hearing at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) after it emerged that he was the only staff member at his company not receiving paid annual leave.
The WRC was advised that since he had begun working with the agricultural company, the man in question have received neither paid holidays nor payment in lieu. He told the WRC that he was the only non-Irish national working with the company.
The company under scrutiny did not appear to contest the claims that were being made by the man who claimed that he had suffered a work-related injury which caused him to leave his job, despite his employers arguing that incident had not occurred while he was at work. In addition to this he was not given a P45 after he left the role.
The man claimed in his submission that constantly worked for longer that 48 hours every week and would often be there long after other staff members had gone home. He said was only given paid leave once during his time at the company, during his first year in the job when he visited his home country.
The WRC adjudicator said: “He assumed that due to the plant being so busy that all the employees were treated like this, however this was not the case. In 2017 his Irish work colleague told him that if he were him, he would not continue to work for the respondent. This work colleague said that all workers are entitled to and received paid holidays. This was the first time that the complainant discovered this discrepancy in terms of less favourable employment terms.”
He told the WRC that his former employer claimed, in a meeting, that he was owed no money whatsoever. The WRC ruled that, due to the uncontested evidence regarding excessive working hours, the man was to be awarded €1,000 workplace discrimination compensation. Along with this he was also awarded €900 for the holiday pay he was not in receipt of.
Finally, the worker was awarded a sum of €8,000 for being treated differently to other workers. The adjudicator said: “I make this award taking into account the effects of the discriminatory conduct had upon the complainant, the fact that he suffered loss in terms of payment in lieu of holidays and to penalise the respondent in order that this conduct is not repeated in the future.”