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Clarification for employers on sunday work premium – Trinity Leisure Holdings Limited t/a Trinity City Hotel v Sofia Kolesnik and Natalia Alfimova

A recent High Court decision has clarified the obligations of employers, in setting out an employee’s entitlements for Sunday work. The High Court found that where it is expressly stated in a contract of employment that working on a Sunday has been taken into account in the setting of an employee’s pay, then this was sufficient to discharge an employer’s Sunday premium obligation.

The Appellant successfully appealed a decision of the Labour Court in relation to a claim by the Respondents that they were not paid a premium for working on Sundays on the basis that their contract did not identify any element of their pay as being a premium for working on Sundays. The Respondents argued that it is the duty of the employer to clearly identify the portion of the hourly rate of pay that relates to Sunday premium. Following on from this, they argued that they were entitled to be compensated as per Sec 14(1) of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 (the Act).

Binchy J of the High Court however, took the view that there was clear and unambiguous evidence in the express term of the contracts, which stated that the hourly rate of pay “includes your Sunday premium based on your getting every third Sunday off”. The Court noted that no credible evidence was adduced by the Respondents to rebut this express provision in the contract.

The High Court allowed the employers appeal and dismissed the employees’ claims.

1st November 2019

https://beta.courts.ie/view/judgments/5dc466af-2c1c-4a48-ad84-b3f48fe852fa/725b1cba-51db-4d0b-912c-534bc7e2a763/2019_IEHC_654_1.pdf/pdf

Anne O’Connell Solicitors

Fitzwilliam Hall

Fitzwilliam Place

Dublin 2.

www.aocsolicitors.ie

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