A core element of the appeal was based on Ballydoyle claiming that it was exempt from both sections of the 1997 Act as the work performed was an agricultural activity and that they were involved in a continuous production process. The nature of the work performed therefore fell under the Organisation of Working Time (General Exemptions) Regulations 1998 (SI 21 of 1998). The Labour Court rejected Ballydoyle’s arguments finding that the ‘Appellant is seeking to advance an interpretation of ‘agriculture’ which is far broader than the ordinary dictionary meaning of that word’. Furthermore, the Court observed that the argument relating to ‘continuity of production’ was based on Ballydoyle’s connection with Coolmore Stud. The Labour Court did not accept this and noted that Ballydoyle was a single legal entity and its ‘challenge to the lawfulness of the compliance notices, must as a matter of common sense, stand or fall on the basis of that entity’.
A further argument that the compliance notices were defective was rejected by the Labour Court.
It is understood that Ballydoyle has appealed the Labour Court’s determination in CNN181 to the Circuit Court.
In its most recent annual report, the WRC stated that it had conducted 4,830 workplace inspections of which 2,877 (60%) were unannounced. This recent case, therefore, highlights the obligations on an employer to keep all records that are necessary for a possible workplace inspection. An employer must retain working time records for at least 3 years from the date any record is made. Records must be kept by the employer at the premises or place where the employee works.
The following list sets out the standard employment records which employers must keep and which a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Inspector will require access to during the course of an inspection:-
- The completed template sent with the inspection appointment letter issued from the WRC, or the same information in a similar format
- Employer registration number
- List of all employees including full name, address and PPS number for each employee (full-time and part-time)
- Written terms of employment for each employee
- Payroll details (including gross to net, rate per hour, overtime, deductions, shift and other premiums and allowances, commissions and bonuses, service charges, etc.)
- Evidence that the employer has provided payslips to employees
- Employees’ job classifications
- Dates of commencement and, where relevant, termination of employment
- Hours of work for each employee (including starting and finishing times).
- Register of employees under 18 years of age
- Details of any board and/or lodgings provided to employees
- Holiday and Public Holiday entitlements received by each employee
- For non-EEA nationals, employment permits or evidence that permits are not required.
- Any documentation necessary to demonstrate compliance with employment rights legislation.
In addition, employers are required to keep, the following records for any children (14 and 15 year olds) and young persons (16 and 17 year olds) employed by them –
- full name
- date of birth
- time work begins each day
- time work finishes each day
- rate of wages or salary paid per day, week, month or year, as appropriate
- total amount of wages or salary paid to each person
To find out more about getting ready for a workplace inspection, please join our webinar When an WRC Inspector Calls on Tuesday 13th February at 9.30. To book on using your Ibec membership details please click here.
Senior Manager, Ibec Knowledge Centre
Tuesday, 23 January 2018