INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
SWIGMORE INNS (TRADING AS DOHENY & NESBITT)
(REPRESENTED BY THE LICENSED VINTERS ASSOCIATION.)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Alleged Unfair Dismissal.
2. The worker concerned commenced employment with the company as a barperson at its Doheny and Nesbitt pub on the 17th of October, 1999. His employment was terminated on the 23rd of June, 2000. The worker claimed that he had been unfairly dismissed and referred the matter to the Labour Court on the 15th of August, 2000 under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. He argues that he received no written warning, and received no complaints from management in relation to his work performance until two weeks prior to his dismissal.
The Company rejects the claim. It argues that, despite two verbal warnings, the worker failed to reach the standard required and it was left with no alternative but to dismiss him. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 30th of August, 2000. The worker agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
3. 1. The first indication received by the worker that his work was unsatisfactory was two weeks prior to his dismissal.
2. The worker has 12 years experience in the bar trade in Ireland and Germany and no aspect of his work has ever been criticised in the past.
3. The reason advanced by management for the worker's dismissal is spurious. He contends that he was dismissed because of the new wage and roster structure agreed for bar personnel, and his reluctance to operate the "PIG" system.
4. The worker is concerned that his unfair dismissal will affect his prospects of obtaining employment in the future. He is seeking to have his good name restored with a view to future employment and compensation for his loss of earnings.
4. 1. The worker's assumption that he was dismissed on the grounds of the new wage structure has no basis. Neither management nor staff would have been aware of the new rates of pay at the time of his dismissal and he has been replaced by a new employee who is paid on the basis of the new wage structure.
2. Management found the worker to be very slow, surly with customers and unco-operative with his colleagues. He also refused to work in any other area other than the back bar.
3. Fast service is very important, especially at lunch-time. Working as a team and co-operating with colleagues is equally essential. On both of these criteria, the worker was found to be unsuitable.
4. Doheny and Nesbitt is a high profile licensed premises in Dublin and its reputation rests on the quality and consistency of its pint of Guinness. Management refutes the worker's allegation that staff members were at any time requested to recycle product in the manner alleged. Neither Guinness nor any other draught product is ever recycled.
5. Management's policy is to encourage and reward all efforts made by staff for the betterment of the business. The work atmosphere is a liberal one, morale is good and staff tend to remain with the company. Few, if any dismissals have taken place over the past ten years.
The Court is satisfied that the employer failed to follow its own disciplinary procedure, which required recourse to written as well as verbal warnings, before dismissing the claimant. This procedural deficiency also constituted a breach of the Code of Practice on Disciplinary Procedures made under Section 42 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.
In these circumstances the Court regards the dismissal as unfair and recommends that the claimant be paid compensation of £750 in full and final settlement of his claim. The Court further recommends that the claimant be provided with a suitable reference.
In the course of the hearing serious allegations were made against the company by the claimant. The recommendation in this case should not be taken as an acceptance by the Court of the veracity of these allegations.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11 September, 2000
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Fran Brennan, Court Secretary.