INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr McHenry
Worker Member: Mr Rorke
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The worker was employed by the Company as a kitchen manager from the 27th of July, 1998. He had previously worked for the Company in 1994. The worker states that he was dismissed on the 10th of November, 1998 without receiving an explanation.
The worker referred a complaint of unfair dismissal to the Labour Court on the 27th of January, 1999 in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. He agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. The Company declined an invitation to attend the Court hearing but submitted a statement of its position. The Labour Court investigated the issue on the 1st of March, 1999.
3.1. The worker accepted employment with the Company in the belief that he would be considered to run a Quick Serve Restaurant. He resigned from his previous employment although he was offered promotion and a pay increase to stay.
2. There had not been a kitchen manager employed by the Company for several months and the kitchen area needed many improvements. It was an uphill battle but the worker improved the area, introduced a cash handling policy and devised a wage performance review for the staff.
3. The claimant did not receive any complaints about his work performance. On the day of his dismissal he attended a meeting at which staff were told to address any queries to him. Twenty minutes later he was fired by a manager who was with the company only a few weeks.
4. The claimant believed that he was on probation for three months, yet he was dismissed after the three month period expired. He is seeking an apology from the Company for the embarrassment, stress and financial worry imposed on him and on his family.
4.1. In its letter the Company stated that the claimant was employed as a kitchen manager subject to the satisfactory completion of a six month probationary period. It stated that his performance was reviewed after three months and that he was deemed not suitable for the position. He was paid three weeks' salary in lieu of notice. The Company is of the view that the worker was treated fairly and has no grounds for a claim of unfair dismissal.
The Company did not attend the hearing but submitted a letter outlining its position.
The Court is satisfied that the claimant was not given to understand that he was on six months probation and was at no time given any indication of dissatisfaction with his work. The Court finds it extraordinary that the claimant was dismissed within minutes of a meeting at which staff were told to channel any queries following the meeting to the claimant.
The Court finds the manner of the dismissal to be unfair, without justification and not in line with good industrial relations practices.
The Court recommends that the Company pay the claimant £700 in compensation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th March, 1999______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Dympna Greene, Court Secretary.