Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997

Complaints to rights commissioner.

27.—(1) In this section “relevant provision” means—

(a) any of the following sections, namely, section 6 (2), sections 11 to 23, or section 26 ,

(b) the provision referred to in section 6 (1) of regulations, a collective agreement, registered employment agreement or employment regulation order referred to in that section, or

(c) paragraph 9 of the Fifth Schedule.

(2) An employee or any trade union of which the employee is a member, with the consent of the employee, may present a complaint to a rights commissioner that the employee's employer has contravened a relevant provision in relation to the employee and, if the employee or such a trade union does so, the commissioner shall give the parties an opportunity to be heard by the commissioner and to present to the commissioner any evidence relevant to the complaint, shall give a decision in writing in relation to it and shall communicate the decision to the parties.

(3) A decision of a rights commissioner under subsection (2) shall do one or more of the following:

(a) declare that the complaint was or, as the case may be, was not well founded,

(b) require the employer to comply with the relevant provision,

(c) require the employer to pay to the employee compensation of such amount (if any) as is just and equitable having regard to all the circumstances, but not exceeding 2 years remuneration in respect of the employee's employment, and the references in the foregoing paragraphs to an employer shall be construed, in a case where ownership of the business of the employer changes after the contravention to which the complaint relates occurred, as references to the person who, by virtue of the change, becomes entitled to such ownership.

(4) A rights commissioner shall not entertain a complaint under this section if it is presented to the commissioner after the expiration of the period of 6 months beginning on the date of the contravention to which the complaint relates.

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4), a rights commissioner may entertain a complaint under this section presented to him or her after the expiration of the period referred to in subsection (4) (but not later than 12 months after such expiration) if he or she is satisfied that the failure to present the complaint within that period was due to reasonable cause.

(6) A complaint shall be presented by giving notice thereof in writing to a rights commissioner and the notice shall contain such particulars and be in such form as may be specified from time to time by the Minister.

(7) A copy of a notice under subsection (6) shall be given to the other party concerned by the rights commissioner concerned.

(8) Proceedings under this section before a rights commissioner shall be conducted otherwise than in public.

(9) A rights commissioner shall furnish the Labour Court with a copy of each decision given by the commissioner under subsection (2).

(10) The Minister may by regulations provide for any matters relating to proceedings under this section that the Minister considers appropriate.