INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
MR JOHN HETHERTON
(REPRESENTED BY KEAVENY, WALSH & CO., SOLICITORS)
Chairman: Mr McGrath
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The dispute concerns a worker who commenced employment in the Company's retail outlet as a shop assistant in April, 1997. The employer also operates a petrol forecourt and garage adjacent to the shop. She did not receive a written contract of employment. Her weekly wage was £200. The worker was dismissed in May, 1997. She claimed that her dismissal was unfair and referred a complaint to the Labour Court under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Court hearing was held on the 4th September, 1997.
3. 1. The employee concerned worked from Monday - Friday from 7.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. with a half hour lunch break. The worker's duties involved running the shop, ordering and paying for stock etc. She carried out her duties in a diligent and conscientious way. The worker was a good time-keeper. She received no warnings verbal or written about the manner in which she ran the shop.
2. The worker traded in her old car and purchased a newer model on the strength of her new employment. She also gave up the opportunity of two other part time jobs to work for the employer.
3. On reporting to the shop on Sunday night to collect keys from the part-time staff to open on Monday morning the worker was told that 'she was not to have the keys'. Numerous phone calls to the Employer were made and she was told her employment was being terminated because she had not purchased her car from him.
4. The worker was treated in a most unfair and unjust manner in being dismissed in an arbitrary fashion. Despite numerous efforts she has failed to secure full-time employment. She seeks appropriate redress.
4. 1. The claimant was employed on the basis of her own assertion that she was experienced and capable of doing the work and she was being paid the wages of a fully experienced person. It was ascertained after a very short time that she was totally incapable of looking after the shop and that the temporary school going staff were infinitely more capable.
2. She exercised no proper control on the stock in the shop. Certain items were either let run down altogether or, alternatively, too much was ordered.
3. She kept the shop in a very untidy manner.
4. She was extremely slow in getting stock on to the shelves and properly displayed despite the fact that business was very quiet in the early weeks after opening.
5. The newspaper and magazine returns were made incorrectly with the result that the employer received a bill in the region of £900.00 instead of a proper bill in the region of £200.00. The returns were very simple to make and the claimant was given full instruction in relation to what had to be done.
6. The claimant was regularly late in opening the shop in the mornings.
7. The claimant spent an inordinate amount of time on the telephone on personal calls of long duration and these increased in number the longer she was in the employment.
8. The claimant's boyfriend spent an inordinate amount of time in the shop despite requests by the employer to the claimant not to have him there.
9. The purchase of a car elsewhere by the claimant had nothing whatsoever to do with her alleged dismissal.
10. The claimant has, to the best of the employer's knowledge, been in employment since her alleged dismissal.
The Court has considered all of the views expressed by the parties in their oral and written submissions.
The Court does not find that any grounds were put forward to warrant the action taken by the employer.
Further the Court finds the manner in which the claimant was treated was unacceptable.
In all the circumstances the Court finds the employee was unfairly dismissed. The Court recommends the employee be paid the sum of £800 in compensation. The Court notes the claimant will be provided with a suitable reference a copy of which is to be made available to the Court.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th September, 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.