INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Alleged Unfair Dismissal
2. The employer states that the worker concerned commenced employment with Beefy King as a counter assistant in November, 1997 and resigned from the position in March, 1998. In October, 1998 Beefy King was closed and in December, 1998 was re-opened under the name of Mo's Fish and Chips.
The worker was re-employed on the 2nd of May, 1998. She was dismissed on the 24th of June, 1999 and was paid one week's pay in lieu of notice. The employer claims that the worker's job performance was unsatisfactory and he was left with no option but to terminate her employment.
The worker claimed that she had been unfairly dismissed and referred the matter to the Labour Court on the 22nd of December, 1999 under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. She agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Labour Court hearing took place in Waterford on the 2nd of March, 2000.
3. 1. The worker disputes management's record of her employment. She had an association with the employer since 1997 and has been re-employed on at least three occasions, which indicates that she was held in high esteem. During the period Beefy King was closed for refurbishment she received £30 per week as a retainer.
2. The worker received no complaints from management concerning her work. Her first indication that there was a problem was on the 24th of June, 1999, the day of her dismissal.
3. Waterford is a small city in terms of fast food restaurants and the worker's dismissal is a serious slur on her character and to her future prospects of employment. She should be compensated for her loss.
4. 1. It was brought to management's attention that the worker was giving out chips without ringing them in on the cash register.
2. The worker received two verbal warnings in relation to the matter. Following a complaint from a member of the public management was left with no alternative but to terminate her employment.
The Court had given serious consideration to the written and oral presentations made by the parties. The Court is faced with a difficulty when conflicting evidence is presented on the facts at issue.
The Court accepts that the termination of employment arose due to her breach of normal procedures. The manner in which her dismissal took place is not contested by both sides. In so dismissing her, the Court is of the view that the employer did not observe appropriate disciplinary procedures. No opportunity was given to the claimant to defend the allegations made against her. She was not given adequate warnings in accordance with normal disciplinary procedures, or in accordance with the Code of Practice on Disciplinary Procedures made under Section 42 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 (S.I. NO 117 OF 1996) issued by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Due to the employer's failure to observe the above procedures, the Court recommends a lump sum compensation payment of £100. This should be paid without delay.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd March, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.