Annual Leave – Compensation in the WRC*
In case ADJ 10391 the AO in this case decided not to award compensation to an employee in relation to a claim for annual leave and public holidays.
The claim was taken under the Organisation of Working Time Act.
The facts are relevant. The employee finished work on the 22nd March. A claim was lodged in August and a hearing took place in October 2018. Just before the hearing the employee was paid her outstanding annual leave and public holidays.
The AO in this case held that the claim was dismissed on the basis that the employer had paid the annual leave and public holidays prior to the date of the hearing.
We would not necessarily agree with this approach. The Organisation of Working Time Act provides for the said payment as and when they become due. Where an employee has had to issue proceedings to get the payment and the payment is paid just before the date of the hearing then it is difficult to see how the principles of in Von Colson and Kamann would not be issues which would need to be addressed.
Of course if the claim was under the Payment of Wages Act then paying just before a hearing is sufficient as the Payment of Wages Act only relates to actual loss and there is no compensation element except in very limited circumstances. However there is an issue with employees having to bring claims to the WRC to be paid their annual leave. This is European legislation. There is a requirement to be persuasive of an employer going forward and it is difficult to see how this decision complies with that obligation.
*Before acting or refraining from acting on anything in this guide, legal advice should be sought from a solicitor.
**In contentious cases, a solicitor may not charge fees as a proportion or percentage of any award or settlement.