INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
INSULATION DISTRIBUTORS LIMITED
- AND -
Chairman: Mr McGrath
Employer Member: Mr Brennan
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The worker commenced employment with the Company on the 1st July, 1996 following an initial meeting with the Company's sales representative and a later meeting with the sales representative and the managing director. On the 26th September, 1996 the Company provided the worker with a contract of employment. The worker claims that the terms of the contract were not the terms that he had initially agreed with the sales representative and, that, therefore, he refused to sign the contract. The Company claims that it terminated the worker's employment on the 19th December, 1996 following a number of verbal warnings concerning poor time-keeping, two written warnings and the worker's refusal to accept the terms and conditions of his contract of employment.
The worker referred a claim of unfair dismissal to the Labour Court on the 12th March, 1997 in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court investigated the claim on the 29th April, 1997.
3. 1. The terms of employment outlined in the contract were not those agreed at the initial meeting. The Company did not pay the agreed basic weekly salary of £300 plus expenses. Two and a half hours per week were deducted from all overtime pay. Protective work clothes, a mobile telephone and computer training were not provided, although promised by the Company. No probationary period was agreed upon as the worker had left a permanent job to join the Company.
2. The worker did not receive any verbal or written warnings concerning his work performance. The contract of employment stated that his working hours were 8.00a.m. to 5.30p.m., yet the Company's letter of dismissal stated that the hours were 7.00a.m. to 5.00p.m..
3. The worker made three attempts to meet the managing director to discuss the proposed contract but the managing director was not available. The contract dictated that one month's notice of termination of employment should be given by either party, yet the Company gave only one week's notice.
4. 1. In June, 1996 the worker agreed the following terms of employment - a salary of £15,000 per annum in addition to overtime pay and vouched expenses, a 45-hour week to begin daily at 7.00a.m., a probationary period of six months and the signing of a contract of employment when it became available.
2. The worker received a number of verbal warnings about his poor time-keeping throughout his employment. The transport manager personally handed the worker two formal warnings (copies supplied to the Court) dated the 4th October, 1996 and the 23rd October, 1996 warning him of disciplinary action and, ultimately, of dismissal.
3. The worker's late attendance on the 19th December, 1996 lost the Company business. His requests for cash payments were denied. The worker was informed that all vouched expenses would be re-imbursed and that all overtime hours worked would be paid in the normal way. His refusal to sign the contract left the Company with no alternative but to terminate his employment. He was given one week's notice as applies to staff on probation and, in addition to his due entitlements, was given an additional week's wages.
The Court has fully considered all of the views expressed by the parties in their oral and written submissions, and the information supplied subsequent to the hearing.
The Court finds that there is contradictory evidence being put forward by the parties which it has been unable to reconcile.
The Court finds, however, that the manner in which the claimant's employment was terminated was not in accordance with the provisions of the Company's code of discipline.
Given all the circumstances, the Court considers that the claimant should be compensated in the amount of £200 in full and final settlement of this disptue.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th September , 1997______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.