This issue arose in the case of a cleaner and a cleaning company being ADJ-16611. The AO in this case pointed out that the relevant case law in this area was an Employment of Appeals Tribunals decision in Ryanair Limited –v- Alan Downey 2006 17 ELR 347 which established training undertaken by an employee in the course of employment enhances their qualification in remuneration and, on that basis, maybe considered as the provision by an employer to an employee of a “service” within the meaning of Subsection 2(b) of Section 5. This permission is qualified as Subsection 2(b) (ii) which requires that 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.”
In this case the evidence was not compelling that there was any training programme in place. It appears that the employee during the 3 days was polishing, dusting, vacuuming and she used one or two cleaning products. The AO pointed out that AO could not see how this training would qualify as a “service” within the meaning of Subsection 2(b). The AO also pointed out that the deduction of €206.28 from the employees’ wages being all of her wages leaving her with no wages was not in the opinion of the AO the intention of the Act. The legislation clearly stipulates deduction must be “fair and reasonable” having regards to all the circumstances (including the amount of wages of the employee). The AO held out this was neither fair nor reasonable.
There is unfortunately in the Cleaning Industry and in the Restaurant Industry this issue of training deductions.
Some employers and we are not saying the employer in this case was involved in it see the issue of training as a way of getting an employee to work for them for a short period of time for effectively no wages. If training is to be given it must be significant and cannot be merely cursory.
*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 or expenses as a portion or percentage of any award of settlement.