INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
TYCO PRINTED CIRCUIT GROUP LIMITED.
(REPRESENTED BY ARTHUR COX)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Alleged unfair dismissal
2. The worker commenced employment with the Company on a 4-month contract on the 11th of September, 2000, and claims that she was unfairly dismissed on the 25th of January, 2001. She was absent for 39 days, including 2 x 10 days as a result of attending hospital for a form of skin cancer. The worker claims that neither she nor the Union was able to contact the Company to discuss the situation. The Company's view is that the worker was not unfairly dismissed but that her contract was not renewed.
The worker referred her case to the Labour Court on the 11th of June, 2001, in accordance with Section 20 (1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th of August, 2001. The worker agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
3. 1. The worker had advised management that she would have to attend hospital as a result of developing the skin cancer and this was accepted by them.
2. The worker/Union found it very difficult to contact the Company to establish the facts of the dismissal, despite a number of telephone calls from the worker and a request from the Union.
3. The Company did not follow a grievance procedure when dismissing the worker. There were no official verbal or written warnings.
4. Although the worker's contract was due to finish on the 11th of January, 2001, she was not dismissed until the 25th of January. The worker presumed that her contract would be renewed.
4. 1. The worker was on a fixed-term contract and it was not renewed. Approximately 50% of these contracts are not renewed, so there was nothing unusual in this case.
2. The worker's absences did cause problems for the Company as it upset the running order of the business.
3. Although medical certificates were sent to the Company they were sent in late. The worker also failed to communicate with her employer as to when she would be fit to resume work.
4. The worker claims that her absences were due to a skin cancer but on a medical examination form she claimed that she had no such illness.
The Court considered the written and oral submissions made by the parties.
It is clear that the contract of employment was for a specified period and that this was honoured by the Company.
The fact that the contract was let run beyond the specified date was unhelpful and may have caused expectations.
However, the Court is satisfied that the claimant was aware of the Company requirements during her period in employment.
The Court, while holding the view that the Company could have handled the situation more professionally, does not uphold her claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th August, 2001______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.