Ballydoyle stables appeals excessive working ruling to Circuit Court

Labour Court recently rejected appeal by the State’s leading racing stables

Trainer Aidan O’Brien during early morning exercises for two-year-old colts at Ballydoyle

Trainer Aidan O’Brien during early morning exercises for two-year-old colts at Ballydoyle

 

Horse trainer Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stables has appealed a Labour Court ruling regarding excessive working hours for staff to the Circuit Court.

The Labour Court earlier this month rejected an appeal brought by the State’s leading racing stables against compliance notices served by the Workplace Relations Commission over alleged excessive working hours on the part of some staff.

Ballydoyle contended it was exempt from provisions of the legislation because its staff were engaged in agricultural activities. It also argued that the nature of its business meant that grooms and exercise riders were involved in ensuring the continuity of production, and that the rate of production would vary from time to time.

No enforcement action will be taken against Ballydoyle until the Circuit Court has heard the stables appeal.

Representatives of the horse racing sector met on Wednesday to discuss the implications of the Ballydoyle ruling for the industry as a whole.

Horse Racing Ireland’s chief executive Brian Kavanagh recently described the outcome of the Labour Court appeal to be of “very serious concern” for racing.

He has previously claimed that implementing strict employment laws outside the definition of agricultural work would make operations “impossible” within the bloodstock industry.