INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
METALLOCRAFT & ENGINEERING LIMITED
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The Company is a precision engineering company located in Dun Laoghaire. Its workforce work in teams and report to team leaders who are responsible for selecting and monitoring their staff. The worker concerned was employed on the 3rd of September, 1996, as a general operative and claims that he was unfairly dismissed without warning on the 17th of July, 1997.
The worker referred a claim of unfair dismissal to a Rights Commissioner for investigation. As the Company objected to the investigation the worker referred the claim to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. He agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. The Labour Court investigated the dispute on the 21st of January, 1998.
3. 1. The worker was dismissed for alleged poor performance yet he did not receive any verbal or written warnings at any time.
2. The worker believes that his dismissal resulted from his decision to pursue a claim for compensation for industrial injury against the Company.
3. The Company's decision to dismiss the worker was unfair and he should be adequately compensated for same.
4. 1. The Company tries to give all employees a fair chance to prove themselves. The worker was spoken to several times by his team leader about his lack of effort and his poor performance.
2. The daily worksheets which monitor quality and performance levels clearly show the poor level of the worker's performance in relation to other operatives on the same jobs. It would be unfair to the rest of the staff to employ someone who was not performing at an acceptable level on a regular basis.
3. The worker's claim for industrial injury was initiated some months before his dismissal. This claim is covered by the Company's insurance policy and is not related to his dismissal in any way.
In considering this dispute the Court has had regard to the Code of Practice on Disciplinary Procedures made under Section 42 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 (S.I. 177 of 1996).
The Company has acknowledged that it did not have a disciplinary procedure in place during the currency of the claimant's employment. Nonetheless, the Court must have regard to the Code's general provisions in deciding on the procedural fairness of the dismissal in dispute.
Clearly the Company did not follow procedures of the type envisaged by the Code before arriving at the decision to terminate the claimant's employment. In the Court's view this omission had the effect of rendering the dismissal unfair.
In the circumstances of this case the Court recommends that the claimant be paid compensation in the amount of £900.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th February, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.