INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
ASHFORD HOUSE NURSING HOME
(REPRESENTED BY THE IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The worker commenced employment with the Company on the 18th April, 1995 and on the 7th April, 1996 her employment was terminated. She was employed as a cook. Her duties included the preparation of meals for patients at the nursing home and also to maintain the kitchen to a high standard of cleanliness.
Management claim that for the first six months of her employment the worker was unable to perform her duties to the standard required. She was given every assistance to attain those standards. The worker rejects the charges that she was unable to perform her duties as required.
It is also claimed by management that the worker was spoken to on several occasions regarding her overall performance and was informed that if there was no improvement her employment would be terminated.
The worker claims that she never received any written or verbal warning from management regarding her suitability to perform her duties to a satisfactory standard. After 6 months employment her performance was discussed with management. She signed a letter to that effect but was not informed that it was a warning. The worker claims that her dismissal was unfair.
The worker referred the dispute to the Labour Court under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
3. 1. The worker claims that she was never given any written or verbal warning concerning the quality of her work.
2. The worker was always available to work extra hours provided management gave sufficient notice.
3. The worker claims that she felt intimidated during her employment review and signed the review letter under duress.
4. The kitchen was always maintained in a clean and tidy manner. However, other workers had access to the kitchen when her shift was completed.
5. The worker has many years experience working as a cook in various establishments and never had complaints from management concerning her cooking ability.
4. 1. The worker was unable to perform her duties to the standard required by management.
2. Management gave her every opportunity to improve and provided every assistance to her, where possible, to attain these standards.
3. The Company was prepared to pay for evening classes in cookery to improve the worker's skills, but this option was not availed of.
4. The worker was aware that failure to improve and achieve a certain standard would lead to the termination of her employment.
5. The worker also failed in her obligation to provide relief cover during the evenings when requested to do so.
While there may have been concerns in relation to areas of work the claimant was responsible for, this does not appear to have been a major issue for the first 6 months of her Employment. Indeed she passed her probation during this period.
The first evidence of the seriousness of the situation, and the risk to Employment, was only conveyed 3 weeks before the dismissal.
Although she may have been spoken to prior to this it was only at this stage she realised her job was at risk .
The Court does not accept that 3 weeks was a reasonable period to give for the claimant to work on the shortcomings outlined.
Taking into account all the issues involved the Court recommends that the Employer pay the claimant £300 as compensation, in full and final settlement.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd April, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.