Agency workers win a case for equal back pay

With the EC Directive and its Irish implementation introduced in 2012, all agency workers were to receive the same rates of pay as the direct employees. Our clients were ensured by their agency that they will be paid back their money for the year 2012. Agency ensured them for a long time, until in August 2013, when they chose to bring their case to the employment courts.

Clients filled out on the complaint and then they have contacted our firm. We have found that they actually submitted the complaint under an incorrect legislation that did not cover the nature of their complaint. The complaint was also submitted outside the 6 months period allowed by the Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act 2012.

Rights Commissioner has ruled that he has no jurisdiction to make any ruling in respect of that matter due to incorrect legislation marked on initial complaint. The appeal went to the Labour Court, where the court found in favour of our clients, awarding them money that they were owed for the year 2012. In its decision the court found that, even though the claim has been submitted under an incorrect legislation, it was capable of being rectified due to the detailed explanation provided in the online claim form and case law offered in the area and thus this matter could be connected to the appropriate legislation. The court stated that it was in position to amend these.

Court further found in respect of our clients, that additional 12 months to already 6 months can be added while reasonable explanations were provided. Our clients had no reason as not to believe in assurances of their employer that their outstanding money will be accounted for and then paid back to them. In regards to these findings, the court ordered the employer to go back 18 months from the time that the complaint was filed and to pay outstanding sums up until the time when the employer began to comply with the with the legislation. The court upheld the appeal in full and our clients were awarded back pay going back as far as March 2012.