HIRING RYANAIR PILOTS ‘NOT STRAIGHT-FORWARD’ – The Irish Times reports that a case to secure additional rights for contracted pilots who fly with Ryanair is being prepared for the English courts.
Solicitor William Garnett, of London firm Bates Wells Braithwaite, said he expects cases to be taken where it will be asserted that pilots engaged though English company, Brookfield Aviation International Ltd, to fly for Ryanair are entitled to certain employee or workers’ rights, including paid holidays and certain employment protections. The rights would exist in relation to Brookfield, according to Garnett.
Brookfield is believed to supply the majority of Ryanair’s contracted pilots, who, in turn, make up a majority of the airline’s pilots. Brookfield plays a central role in a contract arrangement that a London judge recently described as “not straightforward”.
The system owes its nature to tax law, and the large cases division of the Irish Revenue was consulted at the time it was being devised, according to Liam McNamara, of McNamara & Associates.
One of the key attractions of the system for Ryanair is that it shields it from the obligations created by employment law.
A copy of a standard Brookfield contract seen by The Irish Times includes a clause where the signing pilot agrees that he or she is not an employee of Ryanair or Brookfield, and will not at any time be deemed to be an employee.
It also stipulates that Brookfield is not an agent of Ryanair and has no power to bind Ryanair in any matter and that, while Brookfield will endeavour to locate work for the pilot, there is no obligation on it to do so.
OFFICIAL EMIGRATION FIGURES ‘MISLEADING’ – The Irish Independent reports on comments by a senior recruiter, who has rubbished government statistics that indicate an emigration crisis.
Official data, which signals a worrying exodus of young people, completely ignores the thousands of Irish people who are only leaving on temporary visas, said Stephen McLarnon, head of this weekend's Working Abroad Expo.
He told the Irish Independent that these worrying emigration figures, which show that one person is leaving Ireland for good every six minutes, fail to take account of those working abroad only on temporary visas.
"Ireland needs a complete mind shift in the way that it views emigration," said Mr McLarnon.
"For most people under 40, and definitely those aged under 30, working abroad is viewed as a temporary assignment, designed to gain international experience at a time when opportunities are not plentiful at home.
"You only have to look at the type of visas to establish this. They are temporary, lasting up to three or four years. Those who go on to become permanent residents are only a fraction of the total number," he said.
€30M INVESTMENT SECURES FUTURE OF GSK’S CORK PLANT – A €30m investment in a new manufacturing facility has secured the future of the GSK plant in Currabinny in Co Cork, reports The Irish Examiner.
The new facility, which officially opens today, will create 20 full-time jobs and for the first time on the Cork site it will manufacture product for its consumer division.
Since the company set up in Cork in 1975 it has been a dedicated manufacturing site for pharmaceutical products. However, this division has come under huge pressure because of the ‘patent cliff’ which has seen a number of GSK products come off patent.
“The effects of coming off patent can be quite dramatic. The sales of that product can reduce by 75% in the following three months and manufacturing volumes drop by a similar amount,” said sit director Finbar Whyte.
In 2008 employment peaked at the Currabinny plant at 600. However, there was a period of “painful restructuring” over the following three years, which saw the headcount fall to 340 and a scalpel taken to the cost base.
But without this restructuring and the sacrifices made by the employees, the site would not have been able to compete for the latest investment, he said.
“We had to make changes. The employees came on board which enabled us to lower our cost base and become very competitive. Without this we would not have been able to bid for this product,” said Mr Whyte.
The new manufacturing facility will produce Gantrez, which is used in GSK’s dental fixative product, Poligrip.