Category Archives: Workers Rights

Your rights in Dunnes Stores – Maternity Leave

Overview

All female Dunnes workers are entitled to 26 weeks maternity leave. An employee who has taken maternity leave is also entitled to a further optional additional unpaid maternity leave of 16 weeks at the end of the period of maternity leave.

When a colleague returns from maternity leave they are entitled to return to their previous position with no less favourable terms and conditions.

Employees must start their maternity leave not later than 2 weeks before the expected birth date and the leave must not end earlier than 4 weeks after the birth.

Antenatal Care

Employees are entitled to paid time off for antenatal care (including travelling time). This includes normal hospital visits concerning the health of the mother and child i.e. examinations and tests.

Antenatal Classes

Employees can avail of one set of antenatal classes without loss of pay for expectant first time mothers. You must give notice of dates, times of classes in advance including location, distance from store, travel time as soon as practicable but no later than 2 weeks before the date of the class.

Expectant fathers have a once off right to paid time off to attend two antenatal classes immediately prior to the birth, employees are required to notify your Manager of the intention to take this as soon as practicable but no later than two weeks before the date of the class.

Maternity- Health & Safety
 
Management in stores are obliged to conduct a one-to-one meeting with the new or expectant mothers to go through the following;

  • Reduce the need for manual handling as far as practical, be aware of changing ability to lift and carry as the pregnancy progresses.
  • Follow the correct manual handling techniques you were trained to follow at induction.
  • Avoid situations where the abdomen is exposed to bumps or whole body vibration e.g. Fork lift trucks, confined areas where the abdomen keeps being bumped against objects, manual handling of large objects.
  • Take regular breaks and appropriate rest.
  • Discuss, with your Manager, amending hours/workload if necessary, as pregnancy progresses and on return to work, when required.
  • Avoid working in situations where excessive heat is encountered. Drink plenty of fluids.
  • If you are concerned that your work may be affecting your pregnancy, ask your Doctor or Midwife for their advice. Let your manager know the outcome of these discussions, and they may seek further advice from Occupational Health.

During Maternity Leave

During maternity leave the employees are entitled to accrue leave for any public holidays that occur including additional maternity leave.

Time spent on maternity leave including additional maternity leave is treated as though the employee has been in continuous employment, and this time will be used to accrue annual leave entitlement.

After Maternity Leave

Employees are entitled to paid time off for postnatal care if required.

After Maternity leave an employee may wish to return to work in a different capacity e.g. part time or decide that they would prefer different working arrangements. You should discuss this with the Line Manager and request the preferred arrangement in writing.

In accordance with their Maternity Policy the company wherever possible should try to accommodate your request. If you have any issues you should consult your Mandate, Shop Steward.

Breastfeeding Mothers

Mothers who have given birth within previous 6 months are entitled to breastfeeding time off / breaks without loss of pay. Notification of intent to breastfeed must be given as soon as practicable or included as part of normal notification, but no less than 4 weeks before return date.

If an employee wishes to avail of this, in accordance with the company policy they should contact their Manager in order to discuss how to facilitate this request. These options may include one of the following:

1. Breastfeed in the workplace or express breast milk where facilities are provided or

2. Have their working hours reduced without loss of pay to facilitate breastfeeding where facilities are not made available, or

3. Take one hour with pay off work each day as a breastfeeding break. This time may be taken as one 60 minute break, two 30 minute breaks, or three 20 minute breaks, or alternatives by agreement (Note: this one hour break is pro-rated for individuals who work under full time hours).

Pay For Maternity Leave

Currently Dunnes Stores do not provide paid or indeed any top up in respect of maternity pay.

Union membership

As a Mandate member availing of maternity leave you are entitled to maintain your membership at a reduced rate of €1 per week (€4.33 per month or €52 per year). By keeping your membership active you still have full access to representation, information and training courses and other entitlements which are free to members.

Please contact the Mandate membership department at 018746321 or membership@mandate.ie if you wish to avail of this facility.

Last chance to complete Dunnes Stores Workers’ Survey

Almost 1,300 Dunnes Stores workers have completed the 2022 Dunnes Workers’ Survey with just over one week until it closes.

The Dunnes National Committee is calling on all Dunnes workers who haven’t completed it to do so as a matter of urgency:

“We need to produce a pay and benefits claim that’s reflective of what our members in Dunnes Stores want,” said Cathy from Dunnes Stores in Dundalk. “If we are to do that, we need to hear from as many Dunnes workers as possible.”

Members of the Dunnes National Committee encourage all Dunnes workers to complete the survey

Alex, another Dunnes worker from Dublin said:

“1,300 completed surveys will obviously help us to determine what the key issues are for Dunnes workers, but the company employs almost 10,000 staff. We don’t want any gaps and it’s really important that young workers in particular fill this survey in.”

The Survey will close on Saturday, 4th June and anyone who hasn’t already completed it can do so by clicking here.

Advice for Mandate members on grievances, complaints, investigations and disciplinaries

Grievance or Complaint

Advice for Dunnes Stores members if raising a grievance or making a complaint at work:

  • Ensure that the grievance has been lodged in writing to management and keep a copy for your own records.
  • Make sure to ask questions and know the facts before meeting management.
  • Always ensure that a copy of the Dunnes Stores Grievance Procedure is to hand.
  • Collect any paperwork or agreements relating to the issue.
  • Advise members not to attend a meeting alone, bring your shop-steward or a colleague you trust.
  • Always record the date, the venue, who was present, the time that the meeting started and the time it finished, what was discussed and what the outcome was.
  • If you need to take a break request this, if this is refused note the refusal.
  • Keep information that is disclosed confidential.
  • Keep your Mandate Official updated on any developments. Always Keep any records you have in a safe secure place.

Investigation/Disciplinary Meetings

What to do if you are notified that you are to attend a meeting with your employer:

  • Always find out what the meeting is about.
  • ls it an Investigatory or a Disciplinary Meeting?
  • Make sure you have a Shop Steward or a Witness with you.
  • If there is no one available try to have the meeting rescheduled.
  • Make sure you have a colleague/witness that will take notes of the meeting (in a third-party case these notes are equally as relevant as managements notes)
  • Make sure you understand exactly what allegations are being made or what is being investigated before giving any response.
  • Request copies of any statements or other evidence (e.g., CCTV) that the company are relying on.
  • Request a copy of the company policy and the relevant section the company are referring to.
  • Request a copy of all the notes the company have taken at a meeting.

If as a result of an investigation meeting you are then invited to attend a disciplinary hearing all of the above will apply.

Make sure your Union Official is made aware of the meeting and the outcome.

Remember It is important to use the internal appeal process following the outcome of the Disciplinary hearing if you are not satisfied with the outcome, or feel the sanction is unfair or too severe.

Your Mandate Official will advise on Third Party Referral should this avenue be available and beneficial to the member.

Mandate contact details are available here.