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Data manager’s claim for overtime payment not upheld by Labour Court

However, the Court stated: “It is unfair that the complainant seems to have lost the time-in-lieu she accrued during the period in question. It behoves the respondent to address this matter in a spirit of generosity and fairness.”

The data manager stated that after being promoted to Grade VI in October 2016 she worked a total of 213.76 hours of overtime for which, in November 2017, she was promised payment as she was unable to take time off in lieu during the period.

The complainant said that when she applied for the Grade VI role she understood that she would only be doing the additional Grade V role as an interim, temporary measure, although she later discovered this was not the case.

As time went on the complainant found that she was working an “unsustainable” amount of extra hours in order to manage both the Grade V and Grade VI role (approximately 4.5 hours per week).  

Whenever she discussed the extra hours with her manager he told her, “don’t worry, the hospital will look after you”, it was claimed.

The hospital stated in its defence that it operates on very strict budgetary restrictions and, therefore, all or any overtime is normally pre-planned and approval obtained from management before it can be carried out. The level of overtime claimed by the data manager was not sanctioned or approved by the complainant’s manager, according to the hospital.

The hospital contended that the complainant was fully aware of and has utilised the overtime claim procedure, but at no time in the 12 months prior to the initial claim did she complete a form seeking payment for the overtime.

“It is agreed by both parties that time-in-lieu, for hours worked in excess of contracted hours, rather than overtime payments is the norm in the area where the complainant worked during the period relating to this complaint,” according to the Labour Court decision, which did not ultimately uphold the complaint.

“Unfortunately, for the complainant, for reasons beyond her control, she could not avail of the time-in-lieu owing to her.”

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