INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
W J PRENDERGAST AND SONS LIMITED
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The Company manufactures textiles and employs 14 workers. The dispute concerns a worker who commenced employment with the Company on 22nd February 1984. The worker was placed on periods of lay-off over the years when there was a down-turn in business. The worker claims that her employment was terminated by the Company on the 23rd October 1997. Management rejected the claim stating that the worker had been placed on lay-off. On the 12th January, 1998, the worker referred the dispute 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 in Carlow on the 9th March, 1998.
3. 1. While the worker was on lay-off she did not receive her P45 and was always notified when to return to work. However, the P45 was forwarded to her by post in October 1997.
2. The worker subsequently wrote to the Company seeking a reason for the termination of her employment. She received no reply. Another worker was also given her P45 at the same time.
3. The worker is presently on sick leave. At no time since being placed on lay-off has she received notification to return to work.
4. While the Company has stated that work is available to her the worker feels that, in the circumstances, she would not be treated fairly were she to return. She was dismissed in an unfair manner and seeks appropriate redress.
4. 1. When the Company temporarily stopped production in April, 1996 the worker was placed on lay-off. When production resumed in October, 1996 the Company notified the worker that production was resuming and requested her to return to work. She failed to do so.
2. The Company received no correspondence from the worker giving reasons for not returning to work and, therefore, on the 20th October 1997, the Company forwarded the worker's P45 to her by post.
3. The worker was not dismissed and there is work available for her should the employee wish to return to the employment.
The Court recommends that the claimant accept the Company's offer to regard her as being on extended sick leave and that she can resume employment on her recovery.
Consequently the Court finds that there was no dismissal.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th March, 1998______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.