INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
POWER SUPERMARKETS LTD
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY MANDATE)
1. Appeal Against Rights Commissioners Recommendation DC313/95.
2. The worker commenced employment with Quinnsworth Supermarket, Upper Baggot Street on 31st January, 1995. On the 2nd February, 1995 the worker was involved in an altercation with another member of staff. Both were suspended following a disciplinary hearing and both were advised that a further meeting was scheduled for 8th February, 1995. Their Union official was also to attend.
The worker concerned did not attend the disciplinary hearing on the 8th February, 1995 and made no contact with management to explain her non attendance. The other worker involved in the disciplinary hearing did attend with his Union representative.
The Company wrote to the worker concerned on the 20th February, 1995 terminating her employment.
The Union contacted the Company on the 13th September, 1995 claiming compensation for the worker. It claimed that the worker was unaware of the meeting scheduled for the 8th February, 1995 and had been dismissed without being afforded the opportunity to answer the charges made against her.
The Company rejected the Union's claim for compensation and stated that the worker was given every opportunity to put her case at the disciplinary hearing on 8th February, 1995 but failed to do so.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner. The Rights Commissioner investigated the dispute on the 25th January, 1996 and in his recommendation DC313/95 recommended that:-
"The basis of this claim, on behalf of an employee who had only worked in the employment for 3 days was that she was denied fair procedures to defend herself. Quite frankly, I find it incomprehensible that her Union official who attended a meeting on her behalf on 8th February, 1995 to which she was invited but did not attend, did not seek an adjournment of that meeting, contact his member and re-arrange a fresh date with the Company, to answer the disciplinary charge.
Furthermore, I also find it difficult to reconcile the argument that had the claimant's employment not been terminated she would still be in the job, given that she was involved in a fracas with another employee after only 3 days' probation.
All in all, therefore, I can find no substantive grounds to justify any grounds for compensation in this case, and I therefore recommend that the claim fails."
3. 1. The worker's dismissal on the 20th February, 1995 was unfair.
2. The Company sent correspondence to the worker which she did not receive, because it was incorrectly addressed. She never lived at the particular address as claimed by the Company. As a result the worker was unaware of the meeting scheduled for the 8th February, 1995 and was also unaware of her dismissal on the 20th February, 1995. She was therefore deprived of the opportunity to answer the charges against her.
4. 1. The worker was on probation and was dismissed for failing to attend a disciplinary hearing.
2. The worker was in breach of the Health and Safety Legislation which was considered a serious misconduct under the Company's disciplinary code.
3. The worker made no contact with the Company until seven months after her dismissal.
4. Correspondence was sent to the worker at the address given on her application form. The onus was on the worker to inform the Company of any change in her home address.
5. The Company rejects the Union's claim that the worker was constructively dismissed.
The Court has considered all of the issues raised by the parties and the subsequent correspondence.
Given all of the circumstances of the case the Court upholds the recommendation of the Rights Commissioner and rejects the appeal of the claimant.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th June, 1996______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.