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Labour Court Clarifies When “On-Call” Is Not Considered Working Time for the Purposes of Public Holiday Entitlements

posted 2 weeks ago

In the Labour Court case Mater Misericordiae University Hospital v Adrian Stefan (DWT2415) the Mater Hospital, the Appellant, appealed the decision of the Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) Adjudication Officer. As many of our readers may know, a Labour Court hearing is a de novo appeal, which means that they conduct a full re-hearing of all the relevant facts without reference to the previous WRC finding. The Complainant, Mr Adrian Stefan, had submitted a complaint to the WRC under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 (“the Act”). The WRC Adjudicator decided the complaint was well-founded and awarded €200 compensation.

Facts: The Complainant contended he was “on call” for the Appellant employer on several occasions when a public holiday fell. He argued that his time “on call” should be regarded as working time within the meaning of the Act and therefore he was entitled to receive the public holiday entitlement applicable to persons who work a public holiday. This entitlement is outlined in s21(1) of the Act and provides for a paid day off on that day, a paid day off within a month of that day, an additional day of annual leave or an additional day’s pay.

It was not disputed that the Complainant was required to be “on call” on the following public holidays during the relevant period of the complaint: 18th March 2022 and 6th June 2022. The Complainant was not ultimately called out on either of these dates. The Appellant submitted that the Complainant was not at work while “on call” on either date and the Complainant was free to carry out his own activities with no constraints. It was also not disputed that the Complainant was afforded a paid day off on each of the two public holidays concerned.

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posted 6 days ago

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