Paddy Power faces further staff compensations claims
Paddy Power is facing a new round of staff disputes over compensation after a group of staff in Ireland came forward with complaints about not being given working breaks.
The Times reported this week that the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has received 56 individual complaints from staff saying they were denied breaks that they are legally entitled to.
This follows complaints made against the operator earlier this year in July, when fourteen staff complained that they were denied breaks while working in one of the operator’s betting shops.
The WRC ordered Paddy Power to pay between €750 and €1000 to each of the individuals – who were represented by the trade union, Mandate – for breaching the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997.
After that ruling, the WRC called for further workers who believed they were affected to come forward. Paddy Power, for its part, issued a policy sheet that informed its staff of the law about breaks, and said it adopted a policy whereby employees who missed a break must report to the head office.
However, The Times reported that those employees who reported missing a break were then criticised by senior staff members.
The current complaints again revolve around the same directive. Mandate has stated that it will continue to issue a case every six months until Paddy Power resolves the issue permanently.
Mandate believes that the operator is purposely understaffing its outlets to try to save costs by moving to shops operated by one individual. This then means that employees are denied breaks, as they are the only person on the premises. The trade union will continue to battle this move, which it deems unfair to staff, who would be unable to take breaks they are legally entitled to.
After the first ruling in July, John Douglas, Mandate general secretary, said:
There are tens of thousands of workers in Ireland currently being denied their rights at work because their employer believes the law shouldn’t apply to them. We’re here to tell them that it does. Workers should not put themselves at risk by working alone for prolonged periods and should take precautions at all times, including shutting the store if necessary. Paddy Power is a highly profitable business and can afford to sufficiently staff their premises so that workers are safe and can avail of their legal right to rest periods.– John Douglas, Mandate general secretary