Press Release

SIPTU member underpaid by New Ross manufacturing company receiving Covid supports

Date Released: 17 June 2022

A SIPTU member employed by Lake Region Medical Limited at its plant in New Ross, county Wexford, has won a case at the Labour Court for underpayment of wages while his employer was availing of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).

SIPTU Workers Rights Centre Advocate, Rachel Hartery, said: “Medical device manufacturer, Lake Region Medical Limited, availed of payment assistance from the Government during the pandemic for ten weeks in 2020.  During this period, SIPTU member, Mark Reeves, found he was doing the same work for less pay due to his employer availing of TWSS. 

“Despite this being highlighted, Lake Region Medical Limited refused to pay the correct rate of pay or remove Mark from the scheme. 

“This case succeeded at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and Lake Region Medical Limited appealed it to the Labour Court. We argued that Mark was not receiving what was ‘properly payable’ to him, as he was receiving less pay for the same work which is an unlawful deduction.  

“Lake Region Medical Limited attempted to defend its position through its representatives, A & L Goodbody. They argued that the deduction was in fact lawful and therefore permitted under the Payment of Wages Act.

“The WRC and the Labour Court found in favour of the SIPTU member. The Deputy Chairman of the Labour Court stated that she was satisfied that there was in fact an unlawful deduction and the employer could not rely on guidelines to mean more than is provided for in legislation.  She directed Lake Region Medical Limited to pay the amount owed in lost earnings of €448.60.”

Hartery added: “This case demonstrates the benefit of SIPTU membership and reinforces how important it is if you have a workplace issue to see it through. Mark feels vindicated that a WRC Adjudicator and now the Labour Court agreed that the deduction was in fact unlawful and the case succeeded.” 


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