Day in court for employer who failed to make staff pension payments

A Westmeath builder who failed to keep up with pension payments for his staff has been given until January to come up with a plan to make the payments.

Joe Kennedy (33 ) of Chestnut Drive, Mullingar has not complied with a Labour Court order to make the payments totalling €5,458.89 in respect of three employees.

Terry McEvoy, joint secretary at the Construction Industry Monitoring Agency (CIMA ) said that despite an agreement to pay the total in May 2007, it remains unpaid.

While Kennedy is willing to pay the money, he has failed on two occasions to respond to payment plans sent to him in the last nine months.

The fines for the offence are severe. There is a maximum one-off fine of €3,000 but this may be increased with €1,000 per day for each day someone fails to comply with a court order.

Mr Louis Kiernan said his client accepts the facts as presented but he is ‘in dire financial circumstances’ and has no ability to pay.

He had been in employment in the good times.

His house in Crookedwood, the sale of which had been intended to cover the payments is now €19,000 in arrears and he has debts and maintenance to pay.

Kennedy is prepared to pay, insisted Mr Kiernan, but he cannot at the moment.

Judge John Lindsay said the court would like to be convinced Kennedy was making some effort and noted that the case has been before the court ten times already.

He adjourned the case to January 13 next year, saying he wanted to see “some effort” by then.

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