INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioners Recommendation Ir246/00/Gf
2. The worker was employed by the Company as a cleaner in the Ernst and Young building. She claims that on the 20th of January, 2000. her supervisor told her to do some extra cleaning. She was also told to telephone the Contracts Manager (CM) the following day (Thursday). When she spoke to the CM on Thursday she was told "It's not working out, we've had complaints about your work. We have lost the contract with Ernst and Young because of you. It's not working out so we will leave it at that. Okay ?."
The worker reported for duty at 5.30 pm. She met a supervisor with another person, who was introduced to the worker as her replacement. She spoke by telephone to the CM who told her that she was sacked. The worker reported for duty at 5.30 pm the following day. She met her supervisor and explained what had happened the previous day. When she finished her work, she met her supervisor again who handed her an envelope which contained 2 written warnings.
The Company maintains that the worker was not dismissed, but left work on the Friday and did not return.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner and a hearing took place on the 4th of April, 2000. The Rights Commissioner's recommendation is as follows:
"In the circumstances, I have decided the claimant was unfairly dismissed in the manner mentioned and I recommend that she be paid the sum of £250 in full and final settlement of this claim".
Both parties appealed the recommendation - the worker for implementation - in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 23rd of August, 2000.
3. 1. The worker was not told that she was dismissed when she initially rang the Company on Thursday. That is why she reported for work the same evening.
2. The worker was given no warnings - either verbal or written - before receiving the 2 written warnings on Friday. Whilst there were occasional complaints about her work, they were not constant as the Company claims.
3. The worker did not return to her job because she received the 2 written warnings and was told by the CM that she was 'sacked'.
4. 1. The Company received complaints from Ernst and Young about the cleaning in the building, on the 19th and 20th of January. The Company regarded this as a serious matter, and told the worker that, due to constant complaints about her work, she would be moved to a different floor in the building.
2. The worker was not dismissed. She left on the Friday and did not return or telephone to say that she had left.
3. The worker was given official verbal warnings. The written warnings were for 2 separate incidents.
Whilst the claimant is adamant that she was sacked by the Company, the employer's case is that he did not sack her. It would appear that there was scope for confusion in the days surrounding this dispute.
The Court, having considered the information before it, recommends that the employer reinstate the claimant, with no recrimination or, alternatively, if he does not reinstate her, he should pay her £250.
The Rights Commissioner's recommendation to be amended accordingly.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
31st August, 2000______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.