INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY MAURICE E. VEALE & COMPANY SOLICITORS)
Chairman: Mr McGrath
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Removal from casual watchman list.
2. The worker concerned was placed on the Company's casual watchman list in February, 1996. He had been previously on the list in 1992/1993. He was employed on a casual basis (40 to 60 hours weekly) to provide security duties at various Telecom Eireann premises in the Dublin area.
The worker was unavailable for work in the period the 26th of October, 1996 to the 17th December, 1996 due to illness. He was also unavailable for work due to illness from the 25th December, 1996. He was informed by letter of the 27th January, 1997 that the Company had removed him from the Casual Watchman List.
The worker claimed that he had been unfairly removed from the List and referred the matter to the Labour Court on the 1st of September, 1997 under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's Recommendation. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th of October, 1997.
3. 1. At all times the worker's absence due to illness has been properly supported by certificates from his medical advisors.
2. The worker's medical advisors have confirmed his fitness for employment as his illness is well controlled by medication.
3. Telecom Eireann would not appear to have obtained any independent or objective medical assessment of the worker's health which would justify the conclusion that his
continued employment would breach any statutory obligations on Telecom Eireann.
4. The decision of Telecom Eireann takes no account of the worker's recovery from his
illness and the fact that his illness can be properly controlled by medication.
5. While employed by Telecom Eireann the worker had deductions made from his salary in respect of the Communication Workers' Union subscriptions. A 1989 Trade Agreement between the Company and the CWU provides that consultation with the CWU should take place prior to the removal of a casual watchman from the list. As far as the worker is aware, no such consultation has occurred in this case. The decision to remove him from the list was taken without recourse to the appropriate procedures assessments. The only medical assessment of the worker's condition available to the parties to this dispute would appear to be that of the worker's medical advisors which confirmed his fitness for employment. In the circumstances the worker requests that the Labour Court recommend his reinstatement to the Casual Watchman List.
4. 1. The worker was on unauthorised absence from work on the 14th September, 1996 and the 21st September, 1996. He received verbal and written warnings in relation to his absence. No satisfactory explanation was received.
2. The worker failed to report for his scheduled duties at the Bangor Road Exchange on the 25th December, 1996 and the 26th December, 1996. His absence presented the Company with serious difficulties as the exchange in question requires 24 hour security.
3. The Company submits that its decision to remove the worker from the casual panel on the grounds of unsuitability was wholly justified by reference to the history of recorded events and was carried out in accordance with agreed procedures governing removal of personnel from the casual panel. The panel was abolished in June, 1997 and there is no casual panel in existence. The Company would not regard the worker as suitable for future work having regard to the history of events.
The Court has considered all of the issues raised by the parties in their oral and written submissions.
The Court finds that the manner in which the claimant was removed from the panel was unacceptable.
Given all the circumstances of the case the Court recommends that the claimant be offered a suitable post at the earliest opportunity, with the normal terms pertaining to probation applying.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
3rd November, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.