Gardaí claimed anti-social hourly pay while self-isolating ‘completely without merit’ – The Irish Times

An application by the Garda Representative Association on behalf of members seeking anti-social hourly pay for a period that they were unemployed and self-isolating with Covid-19 was dismissed as “completely unfounded” by the Labor Court.

It found that the lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of 22 members, was essentially pursued because a human resource director at a meeting suggested paying the money. The court said An Garda Síochána denied that this proposal was made and the sides agreed that even if the manager had said so, she would have been wrong to make such a commitment.

The recommendation in the case, which was referred to the Labor Court after a failed conciliation hearing at the Labor Court, was published on Thursday.

The court said it had been accepted by both sides that antisocial working time pay would only be paid if an employee “actually works during antisocial hours”.

“It is also accepted by both parties that none of the applicants worked during antisocial hours during the self-isolation at home in January 2021. In fact, it seems to be accepted by both parties that the applicants were not assigned any tasks at all while they were self-isolating at home, despite being on their base salary throughout.”

It said a significant number of workers across the country have likely been forced to self-isolate at home during the pandemic in circumstances similar to those of the claimants.

“However, there is no evidence in court that such a worker received antisocial working hours during such periods of self-isolation when in fact he was not working during antisocial hours.”

According to the court, if the human resources manager had made the disputed promise to pay the allowance, she “would have made a mistake in view of the relevant circulars in force at the time and her application for this employment and all employment in the public service”.

“Nevertheless, the association asserts that, solely on the basis of a disputed promise, the submission of which would have been granted, all beneficiaries would have to be paid antisocial working time allowance for the duration of the domestic quarantine in January 2021,” it said.

Given the undisputed facts in the case, the court concluded that “none of the plaintiffs were entitled to anti-social working time pay during their period of self-isolation in January 2021 and consequently the claim is entirely unfounded”. Gardaí claimed anti-social hourly pay while self-isolating ‘completely without merit’ – The Irish Times

Dais Johnston

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