The SIPTU Workers Rights Centre has secured an award of €8,000 at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) for a member who was found to have funded her own annual leave. SIPTU member and part-time lecturer, Ms. Vera Toal, who lectures at Independent Colleges Ltd., successfully progressed a case under the Organisation of Working Time Act for breaches of the Act. SIPTU Workers’ Rights Advocate, Rachel Hartery, said: "Independent Colleges Ltd. deducted 8% off the hourly rate of pay of our member, withheld it, and returned this while the College was closed. This method of payment, referred to as rolled up pay or consolidated pay, has been outlawed since the introduction of an EU directive. This wasn’t accepted by the College, despite a similarly successful case in 2022." A colleague of Ms Toal also filed a case in 2022 and the WRC ordered Independent Colleges Ltd. to cease the "bizarre" wage deductions. However, it continued to breach the Act with other employees. The WRC Adjudicator, in her decision, said: "I find it is not coincidental that 8% of the €70 hourly rate is €64.81.  I find her contracted rate of pay was in fact €70 per hour and her holiday calculation was not done correctly and resulted in an unlawful deduction from her wages to pay for her holidays. "The reference to the 8% is not only confusing; it also did not result in her entitlement to Holiday pay in line with employers’ obligations as set out in the legislation". Vera Toal said: "I am delighted with the WRC decision since it proves that my colleagues and I were treated unfairly and subjected to illegal deductions at Independent Colleges Ltd. This continued over a number of years despite raising the issue with management." She adds, "I would like to thank SIPTU for the work put into the case and for all the moral and practical support. This was vital for me and demonstrates the importance of Union membership."