Mr. Drumgoole, a fireman with Dublin City Council, had been rostered to be on night duty on 18th March 2003 but sought force majeure leave.
His employer paid him forec majeure leave at the normal off-duty night rate.
There were three rates of pay in the organisation (1) night duty (2) day duty and (3) off-duty. In addition, staff were paid double time when they worked on a bank holiday. The night when force majeure had been taken was a bank holiday.
The employee claimed the night duty rate (double), which was denied. He took his case to the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
Section 14 (4) of the Parental Leave Act, 1998 states that:
“An employee shall, while on force majeure leave, be regarded for all purposes relating to his or her employment, as still working in the employment concerned and none of his or her rights relating to the employment shall be affected by the leave”.
Section 14 (5) of the Parental Leave Act, 1998 states that:
“Absence from employment while on force majeure leave, shall not be treated as part of any other leave from employment (including sick leave, annual leave, adoptive leave, maternity leave and parental leave) to which the employee concerned is entitled”.
The Tribunal found that Mr. Drumgoole would have been paid the double night rate if he had been present on the night in question.
The Tribunal decided that Mr. Drumgoole was entitled to be paid as if he had been present and working at the time the force majeure was taken.
Case: Drumgoole v Dublin City Council, Employment Appeals Tribunal, PL4/2003, 24/03/04