INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
SPAR/NOEL CONWAY (RATOATH)
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Owens
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation No. RC798/97.
2. The worker commenced her employment on the 9th July, 1996 and worked various hours, up to September, 1996, from which time she worked Saturday and Sunday mornings and a number of bank holidays. Set hours were agreed between her and her employer, Mr Conway, and she was on a rate of £3 per hour. Commencing in April, 1996, Mr Conway and his manager sought to change the worker's hours to Saturday and Sunday afternoons, in order, apparently, to facilitate two colleagues of the worker who wished not to work the later shift on weekends. The worker refused to change her shift because she was the longest serving of the three workers concerned and she had agreed her hours with the employer. She also had a permanent baby-sitting arrangement for Saturday evenings, about which she had informed her employer at the outset. Following the worker's return from holidays on the 28th of June, 1996, she was informed by Mr Conway that her hours of work had been changed. When she sought written notice to this effect, the worker claims that Mr Conway became angry and told her to go and not come back. Accordingly, the worker left the premises and did not return. She referred the matter to the Rights Commissioner who, following investigation, found that the employer's actions in changing the worker's hours constituted constructive dismissal and his attitude and words on the 28th of June constituted a dismissal. She found, further, that Mr Conway's response to the legitimate request for written changes in the worker's contract hours was wrong and without justification and, given the worker's loyal and unbroken service, including her availability for bank holidays and general flexibility, the actions by the employer were particularly reprehensible.
The Rights Commissioner found that the worker was unfairly dismissed and recommended that she be paid £500 as compensation for the loss of her job. The worker appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court, on the 18th of December, 1997, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court heard the appeal on the 20th of January, 1998. The employer did not attend nor was he represented at the appeal hearing.
3. 1. The employer side has made no contact with the worker since the Rights Commissioner's recommendation was issued.
2. The worker is satisfied with the amount of compensation recommended but no payment has been made to date.
The Employer did not attend the hearing of the appeal.
The Court, having considered the submission of the appellant, is satisfied that the Rights Commissioner's recommendation is fair in the circumstances and should be upheld.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
2nd of February, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Michael Keegan, Court Secretary.