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No premium for Sunday overtime as not provided for in contract

By: Evan Kearney BL

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High Court: (a) allows appeal against decision of Labour Court on grounds that the Labour Court erred as the only evidence before it was the written contract which does not support its decision; and (b) overturns decision of the Labour Court awarding damages for overtime, on the grounds that the contract expressly stated that the hourly rate included the 'Sunday premium'.

Appeal against decision of Labour Court – under S46 of Workplace Relations Act – appellants claim Labour Court does not have jurisdiction under S14 of Workplace Relations Act and erred in awarding a premium in relation to Sunday overtime to the Respondents – opposed fully by respondents – no oral evidence given to Labour Court given in relation to the calculation of a premium for working Sunday overtime – had written evidence in the form of the contracts – contracts make it clear requirement to work on Sundays is taken into account in overall rate of pay – Court acknowledges potential vulnerability on part of respondents in signing contracts but contracts unambiguous and no evidence put forward in relation to vulnerability – no evidence put forward to gainsay contracts – finding of Labour court one of law, not fact as it related to the contract and to implications of statute – finding erroneous – appeal allowed and respondents claim under S14 dismissed

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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