INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The worker commenced employment with the Company as a van driver on the 6th of July, 1998. On Friday, the 29th of January, 1999, the worker was asked by the assistant manager to visit the Cash and Carry. He claims that he told management that he was busy making deliveries and knew nothing about Cash and Carry. When he returned from his deliveries, he claims that the store manager told him to "get out of this store" and that he was suspended.
The Company's view is that the worker refused to obey the instruction to go to the Cash and Carry and threatened to resign if compelled to do so. The worker was told of the consequences of his behaviour if his threat materialised. The worker then handed in his keys and walked off the premises.
The Company made a number of attempts to contact the worker for a meeting to resolve the issue but was unable to do so until the 9th of February, 1999. There was a disagreement between the parties as to holiday leave and how much money the worker was owed. (The worker was on annual leave from the 30th of January until the 6th of February.) The worker believes that he was unfairly dismissed whereas the Company maintains that he resigned.
The worker referred his case to the Labour Court on the 16th of April, 1999, in accordance with Section 20 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd of June, 1999.
1. The worker felt humiliated by the way he was treated. He was shouted at in front of customers and told that he was suspended. This was the main reason for his non-attendance at any meeting until the 9th of February.
2. When he attended the meeting on the 9th of February, he was told that his job was gone and that he had been replaced.
3. The worker was taken off Cash and Carry duties 3 months prior to the incident. He was told that if he did have to go to the Cash and Carry again, he would be accompanied by a manager.
1. One of the main van drivers' duties is to visit the Cash and Carry at least twice a week. The worker was well aware of this.
2. The worker was told that he could be suspended if he did not carry out his duties. He resigned from his job before any other action could take place.
3. The Company made several attempts to contact the worker (including telephoning him at home) to resolve the issue, but was given no opportunity to do so as the worker would not attend a meeting. This also meant the Company could not use its disciplinary procedure.
The Court is of the view that it is unfortunate that such a situation should arise considering the good relationship and the excellent track record this employee had with the Company. The Court is satisfied that the employee terminated his own employment by not availing of the opportunities given to him by Management to come and talk about the situation which had arisen.
The Court rejects the claim for unfair dismissal, but recommends that he be paid £200 due to the misunderstanding regarding the issue of outstanding monies.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
17th June, 1999.______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.