Paddy Power faces €80,000 payout over staff breaks

20 February 2019

Irish trade union Mandate has said Paddy Power could be forced to pay out up to €80,000 (£69,600/$90,800) in compensation to staff who were not given proper breaks at work.

Ireland’s Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has this week ordered the bookmaker to pay 11 workers a cumulative €10,100 in compensation, in a second tranche of decisions as part of an ongoing case.

Mandate has so far lodged 78 separate cases on behalf of its members that have been affected by the issue. Divisional organiser Robert McNamara has said the union expects its members at Paddy Power to receive between €750 and €1,000 each.

“There are thousands of workers in the retail, pharmacy, bar and betting industries who are currently being denied their statutory entitlements but do not know their rights or do not have a trade union to back them up,” McNamara said in a statement issued to iGamingBusiness.com.

“The Paddy Power workers who joined Mandate and have won these cases are a good example of why it’s important to be a member of a trade union.”

Paddy Power had initially appealed the first tranche of rulings to the Labour Court, but later opted to withdraw these appeals and agreed to pay out to the affected Mandate members.

During the second round of rulings, the WRC ordered the bookmaker pay more than €1,000 to eight claimants, as well as €800 to one worker and €650 in two other cases.

A Paddy Power Betfair spokesperson has told iGamingBusiness.com that the bookmaker will now reflect on this latest ruling to see how it can improve its systems.

The spokesperson said: “We have systems in place to enable employees to take their breaks, and we will continue to ensure that our employees get them. We are disappointed with this ruling but we will be abiding by it and reviewing our processes accordingly.”

To date, McNamara said the WRC has made rulings concerning 42 cases relating to the Paddy Power case, with the bookmaker paying out €38,000 in awards as a result. McNamara does not expect Paddy Power to appeal the latest tranche of rulings.

Mandate had previously called for more of its members to come forward and seek payouts over the issue following the success of earlier rulings. McNamara said Mandate is now considering taking more cases relating to the case.

Image: Gordon Joly