INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The Company is a branch of New York Life Insurance Company and employs approximately 60 people in Castleisland, Co. Kerry. It receives health insurance claims and related correspondence. Approximately 2,000 pieces of mail are involved daily. These are opened, date-stamped and sorted in the mailroom.
The worker was employed by the Company from 1st April, 1996 to 10th May, 1996 and performed the duties of mailroom clerk and filing clerk. The Company claims that the termination of the worker's employment was amicable. A number of months later the Company received a letter from the worker seeking a position. She also made a number of phone calls to staff members, the Company claims, as well as local politicians, clergy etc. asking them to make representations on her behalf. Each time the Company explained that there was no position available for the worker.
The worker referred her case to the Labour Court on 6th May, 1997, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on 30th July, 1997, in Tralee. The worker agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
3. 1. The worker was not given any formal instruction when she commenced working. She was nervous at the start and was only shown what to do by her supervisor on a couple of occasions. She was told by the supervisor that she was making errors but it was not specified what these errors were. The worker was given no letter of appointment or written contract and received no official warning about any problems with her job. She was not a bad time-keeper as the Company alleges. She had never been dismissed from any previous employment.
4. 1. The worker was employed in a temporary capacity. Workers can be made permanent, depending on the work-load, but there is no guarantee. The worker's performance was of such poor quality as to cause disruption, confusion and rework for her colleagues. Despite repeated efforts by her acting supervisor and fellow mailroom workers to help her she made no improvement. After 3 weeks, the worker's employment was considered for termination but it was decided to move her from the mailroom to the filing room to give her another chance. She was informed of this by management. Her work in the filing room did not improve.
2. Termination of the worker's employment was amicable and not unfair. Since the termination, the worker wrote to the Company and made telephone calls to staff on a number of occasions in an effort to be re-employed (details supplied to the Court). Her conduct became unacceptable and she was told this by the supervisor. The Company is not obliged to re-employ someone whose service was previously unsatisfactory.
The Court is of the view that the claimant was dealt with in a fair manner and, accordingly, does not recommend concession of her claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
22nd August, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.