Woman who worked 80-hour week on farm awarded €21,000

Irish Farm

29 October 2019

A former mushroom farm worker has been awarded €21,422 by the Labour Court after claiming she was forced to work more than 80 hours a week. She also said her payslips were doctored to show she worked less than the permitted 48 hours.

Ana Lacramoiara Manciu (30), a Romanian national, had taken the case against mushroom farm Stablefield Ltd of Clogheen, Co Tipperary, where she had worked between December 2012 and August 2016.

The case was an appeal of a Workplace Relations Commission decision under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, which states employees should not be asked to work more than an average of 48 hours over seven days.
The adjudication officer of the WRC had ruled Ms Manciu’s complaints relating to the hours she worked, the calculation of her public holiday pay and the calculation of her annual leave were not “well founded” and held against her.

But Ms Manciu, with the support of Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, appealed the ruling to the Labour Court. Following a four-hour hearing in Limerick last month, the Labour Court found in her favour and awarded her €21,422.

The Labour Court found all three claims presented by Ms Manciu were linked to the question of her weekly working hours, as both her public holiday and annual leave entitlements were based on the hours she worked at the farm.

Harvest manager

Ms Manciu claimed to have worked in excess of 80 hours a week as harvest manager, for which she was paid a fixed sum of €2,000 for four weeks. But Stablefield’s owner, Tom Sweeney, claimed she worked about 40 hours a week.

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