Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Irish Labour Court Rules Against Employees' Push For Catholic Holidays Off

Ireland's Labour Court has ruled that under Irish law, businesses are only required to give employees time off for the nine public holidays set out in the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. Today's Irish Independent reports that workers at the Lisavaird Co-op in Clonakilty, west Cork, lost their attempt to get time off for four Catholic holy days-- Epiphany, the Assumption of Our Lady, All Saints and the Immaculate Conception. In the past the co-op has closed on those days, but management now wants to open and is willing to compensate its 70 workers for their added time. Workers say the time off is "sacrosanct", but the Labour Court has recommended that staff agree to the holy days being normal working days in the future with four days' annual leave to compensate them.