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Workers win compensation from Paddy Power over denial of rest break cases

Paddy Power declined to comment on the rulings of the Workplace Relations Commission.

Image: Shutterstock/chrisdorney

STAFF AT PADDY Power who were denied rest breaks have been awarded around €90,000 in compensation after the Workplace Relations Commission adjudicated on 92 separate cases. 

Over the last year, Mandate Trade Union lodged the cases at the WRC on behalf of members under the Organisation of Time Act. The final WRC decision by an adjudication officer was issued last Friday.

“Management in Paddy Power bookmakers have conceded almost €100,000 to staff for the denial of rest breaks in 92 separate cases,” Mandate said in a statement. 

The trade union represents around 300 workers at the company but said only a handful took cases against the employer out of “fear of retribution”. 

According to Mandate divisional organiser Robert McNamara, Paddy Power will “not be appealing those decisions and has paid out on all monies owed to our members”.

“Our members are delighted to see this process end with compensation of between €700-€1000 per member for the denial of their rest breaks. Hopefully, Paddy Power and all companies ensure their workers get their basic entitlements in the future.”

Paddy Power, owned by Flutter Entertainment plc, declined to comment.

‘Fear of retribution’

Workers, who are entitled to a 15-minute break for the first four and a half hours worked, were awarded compensation based on the number of hours they worked. If a staff member works more than six hours, they are entitled to 30-minute break.

In one case before the WRC, the complainant worked as a retail betting assistant and earned €385 for a 40 hour week. The complainant said they had not received their statutory break entitlements throughout the course of their employment.

WRC Adjudication Officer Catherine Byrne ruled that this complaint was well founded and directed the employer to pay a redress of €1,000 to the complainant.  

The WRC ruled that the employer does not keep appropriate records to show that employees are getting the breaks to which they are entitled.

Mandate is now seeking a meeting with the company to discuss issues including a pay increase, a sick pay scheme, safe staffing levels and Sunday premium rates of pay but  says that Paddy Power has so far refused to meet to discuss these issues. 

“If the company continue to deny their workers their democratic right to representation, we will have to consult with members to determine future actions,” McNamara said.

A Mandate spokesperson told TheJournal.ie if Paddy Power does not sit down with Mandate representatives the next step may be a sit-down meeting in the Labour Court or to ballot its members to see if they want to take industrial action.  

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Adam Daly

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