Ryanair said it should pay the cabin crew chief €297.24 after it lost the pay dispute over money deducted from his salary


Ryanair has lost a pay dispute with a cabin crew manager over a sum of less than €300 that was deducted from his salary almost three years ago.

Ark Peter Balasz’s complaint against Ryanair under the Pay Pay Act has been upheld in a decision published this morning by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Mr Balasz told WRC at a hearing in May last year that he found in October 2019 that the airline had failed to pay his salary in August and September of that year.

His phone calls and emails failed to resolve the matter, he said, adding that he was told he would receive a sum of 650 euros in mid-October.

He borrowed money from friends and went to work as planned, but no payment came as promised, he said.

With around €2,232.82 outstanding, Mr Balasz said he had written to the company saying on 17 October 2019 he “won’t be able to go to work until he gets paid,” WRC was told.

He told the tribunal that he lives 62 km from his airport and “has no money for petrol”.

He said the company classified this as “unauthorized” leave and docked his bonus of €150 and €147.24 as salary.

Mr Balasz said he was told there had been an “administrative error” and that the company could only fix the issue with month-end payroll for October this year.

The world’s fifth-largest airline, which reported a profit of just over $1 billion in the fiscal year in question.

Roland Rowan BL, acting for the defendant on behalf of Killian O’Reilly of Fieldfisher Solicitors, alleged that Mr Balasz was erroneously taken off the payroll when he returned from paternity leave in the summer of 2019.

Mr Rowan said Ryanair only heard about the problem after the payroll deadline and had not been able to fix it by the end of this month.

He said Ryanair had offered an advance of €650 but Mr Balasz told him the sum was “not enough to get him through”.

The advance offered was then cancelled, Mr Rowan said.

The lawyer said Mr Balasz then filed a statutory wage claim on October 24, 2019, when he “knew he would be paid the next day”.

Mr Rowan submitted that there was no breach of the Payroll Act, arguing that there had been “no defaults” and that the issue had been “remedied as soon as possible” – branding Mr Balasz’s complaint “annoying”.

A Ryanair HR chief who presented evidence said there was a “significant impact” on the airline when the most senior cabin crew member “failed to show up” as he was harder to replace and caused delays.

The HR officer said the company viewed Mr Balasz’s absence as a refusal to work “in protest”.

Trial Officer Davnet O’Driscoll confirmed Mr Balazs’ allegation but found that the late payment of his salary was an “oversight” by Ryanair – calling it a “technical breach”.

However, she accepted that Mr Balasz was at a financial loss and was under financial pressure – and ordered Ryanair to refund him the bonus and pay deductions.

She placed an order with the airline for €297.24. Ryanair said it should pay the cabin crew chief €297.24 after it lost the pay dispute over money deducted from his salary

Fry Electronics Team

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