Historic High Court ruling for fixed-term workers in universities

IFUT has warmly welcomed a High Court decision regarding redundancy payments for fixed-term workers in universities.

Today (17 February) in the High Court, Mr Justice Kearns rejected an appeal by University College Cork (UCC) against an earlier Labour Court Determination, which had awarded six weeks' pay per year of service to a lecturer who was made redundant when her fixed-term contract was not renewed by the University.
In his ruling the judge stated his satisfaction that the Labour Court "gave every aspect of this matter careful and comprehensive consideration", and that the arguments by UCC were "precluded" under legislation.
Mr Justice Kearns also ruled that UCC's position would "foster discrimination by encouraging employers to select fixed-term employees for redundancy ahead of permanent employees, thereby avoiding the creation of any form of precedent of enhanced redundancy payments against which fixed-term employees could measure their own payments".
Mike Jennings, General Secretary, said it was "a very important day for fixed-term workers, a huge number of whom are employed in universities".
IFUT had previously written to the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, objecting to UCC's "wasting of public funds" in fighting the case all the way to the High Court (see IFUT seeks urgent meeting with Minister Ruairí Quinn over UCC legal fees).
"Our victory today re-inforces the validity of that position", Mike Jennings said.
The IFUT Media Release is available here.
The High Court judgement is available here
The letter of 17 February 2012 from the General Secretary to IFUT Council describing the judgement and its significance is available here
The background to the case and various documentation relating to the case are available here.