Labour Court recommends 6% pay increase for NCT workers

Applus claimed it was not in position to concede to a pay claim due to 2020 losses

The Labour Court has recommended that National Car Test (NCT) operator Applus grant workers a 6 per cent pay increase.

The court has made the recommendation despite Applus revealing it sustained “significant financial losses in 2020”.

Applus Car Testing Services told the Labour Court it “is not in a financial position to concede to a pay claim” due to the 2020 losses “and a very poor performance in 2021”.

The Spanish-owned company said it had “significant operational costs” due to the pandemic.


As a result of those costs and the suspension of the service, Applus offered a pay rise to Siptu of only 0.5 per cent over three years.

It tabled a proposal of no pay increase in 2020 and 2021 and 0.5 per cent in 2022. The 0.5 per cent pay increase offer was after Applus took an earlier 4.5 per cent pay increase off the table due to the impact of Covid-19.

Siptu was seeking a cumulative pay increase of 7.5 per cent, or a 2.5 per cent increase for each of the three years.

Siptu argued that pay provision was made in Applus’s successful tender for a new 10-year NCT contract that commenced in June 2020.

The NCT work has been very lucrative for Applus. In 2019, the company recorded pretax profits of €5.92 million as revenues totalled €80.84 million.

Last year, Applus carried out 1 million full NCT tests compared to 1.39 million full tests in 2019.

Applus claimed at the Labour Court that its employees were paid above the market rate. However, the court’s deputy chairman, Louise O’Donnell, said Applus “didn’t provide any documentation to support that contention”.

Ms O’Donnell recommended the 6 per cent pay increase comprised of a 1.5per cent increase from September 1st, 2020, 2 per cent from April 1st this year, and 2.5 per cent from April 2022.

The Siptu Applus national committee has recommended acceptance of the recommendation, and a ballot is to be carried out over the coming weeks.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times