Appeals to the Labour Court*
This issue arose in the case of Jaguar Land Rover Ireland and Maja Stanislawska.
This is a case where the Labour Court took some considerable time to set out the law relating to the time limit to put in an appeal to the Labour Court. This time limit is 42 days from the date of the Decision.
The Labour Court set out that Section 83 of the 1998 Act provides that Section 44 of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 shall apply to a decision of the Director General of the WRC under Section 79 as it applies to a decision of an Adjudication Officer under Section 41 of the Act of 2015.
The Court set out that Section 44(4) and (4) of the Act of 2015 provides that;
“(3) Subject to subsection (4) a notice under subsection (2) shall be given to the Labour Court not later than 42 days from the date of the Decision concerned.
(4) The Labour Court may direct that a notice under subsection (2) may be given after the expiration of the period specified in subsection (3) if it is satisfied that the notice was not so given before such expiration due to the existence of exceptional circumstances”.
The Court referred to Section 18 (h) of the Interpretation Act 2005 as regards periods of time which provides;
“Where a period of time is expressed to begin on or be reckoned from a particular day, that day shall be deemed to be included in the period and, where a period of time is expressed to end on or be reckoned to a particular day, that day shall be deemed to be included in that period”.
The wording of Section 18 (h) of the Interpretation Act 2005 is comparable to that of Section 11(h) of the Interpretation Act 1937 which section was considered by the High Court in McGuinness –v- Armstrong Patents Limited 1981 1 IR 289. In that case the Labour Court pointed out Mr Justice McMahon held that in enacting Section 11 (h) the Oireachtas had opted to a different approach to that of the well settled rule of law in England where the period of time prescribed by Statute is defined as the period “from” a particular event…the day of the event being excluded in computing the period.
The Labour Court also looked at Section 21 of the Interpretation Act 2005.
The effect of the decision is that the time limit for an appeal is 42 days from the date of the decision.
This issue is sometimes catching parties out and it is very important that those dealing with the appeals are aware of the very strict time limits and the strict rules which will be applied by the Labour Court in relation to these matters as they will simply be applying the Legislation.
*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 proportion or percentage of any award or settlement.