INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
SAEHAN MEDIA IRELAND LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY MC CANN, FITZGERALD SOLICITORS)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY DAMIEN TANSEY AND COMPANY)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Alleged intimidation, bullying and harassment.
2. The Claimant was employed by the Company on the 2nd of February, 1995, as Personnel and Training Officer. The Human Resources Manager was appointed to the company on the 23rd of October, 1995. The Claimant alleges that she began to suffer intimidation, bullying and harassment by the Human Resources Manager on an ongoing basis following a meeting with him on the 3rd of January, 1996. The Claimant attended both the company doctor and her general practitioner in June, 1997, and has since been absent from work suffering from work-related stress. The Company denies all allegations of harassment, bullying and intimidation.
In June, 1997, the Claimant requested an independent investigation into her dispute with her immediate superior. The Company suggested that a particular Management Consultant should carry out the investigation but the Claimant did not agree with the chosen investigator. In October, 1997, she referred the dispute to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969, and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. The Court investigated the dispute on the 6th of March, 1998, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1. The Company's grievance procedure specifies that grievances should be brought to the attention of a worker's Team Leader or Manager. As the Human Resources Manager was the worker's immediate superior she raised the matter with him in June, 1997, and requested an independent investigation.
2. The Human Resources Manager informed the worker that the Company had appointed a Management Consultant to carry out the investigation. He did not seek to distance himself fully from the investigation and did not specify who made the decision to carry it out and to appoint the investigator. In the absence of a fully independent investigation the worker had no option but to refer her case to the Labour Court.
4. 1. As the Human Resources Manager was the subject of the complaints as well as the worker's immediate superior he was unable to personally investigate her claims. An independent investigator was proposed and meetings were arranged on three separate occasions. The worker failed to attend and did not propose an alternative investigator.
The Court recommends that the claimant's grievance be processed, in the first instance, through the Company's internal procedure. In the circumstances of this case an agreed external person should be appointed to conduct the investigation. In the absence of agreement a person will be appointed by the Court.
It is noted that if either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal process they may appeal the matter further through the industrial relations machinery.
On this basis the Court makes no recommendation on the issues of alleged bullying, intimidation and harassment.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th March, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.