INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
(REPRESENTED BY MJ O'CONNOR SOLICITORS)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The Company employed the worker in September, 2000, as an assistant manager in the Riverbank House Hotel, Wexford. In November, 2000, the worker was offered and accepted the position of bar manager, and was transferred to the Gingerman Bar, Waterford.
In his position as bar manager the worker was responsible for the day to day running of the premises, overseeing a staff of 10/12 people, including bar and kitchen staff. The worker's employment was terminated on the 2nd April, 2001. The worker claimed that he had been unfairly dismissed and referred the matter to the Labour Court under Section 20(1) of theIndustrial Relations Act, 1969.
The Company rejects the claim. It argues that the worker failed to meet the standard required to manage the premises.
A Labour Court hearing took place in Waterford on the 31st July, 2002. The worker agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
3. 1. The position of bar manager in Waterford was offered to the worker, he did not apply for the position.
2. The worker carried out his responsibilities to the best of his ability and in a professional manner. The turnover target levels were met.
3. The employer did not give the worker any indication of dissatisfaction with his work.
4. It was suggested that the worker should leave of his own accord. In a letter to the employer he stated that he was happy in his employment and had no reason to leave.
5. Management failed to put forward any legitimate reasons for his dismissal.
6. The worker was unemployed for two months before being re-employed by a former employer.
4. 1. It became apparent that the worker, while being a competent worker himself, did not seem capable of managing the premises on his own.
2. The area manager was obliged to prepare the staff roster on a weekly basis.
3. The worker failed to respond to training and the normal responsibilities allocated to him as bar manager.
4. Staff complained that there was no leadership forthcoming from the manager.
5. The area manager spent 3 to 4 days every week in Waterford to ensure that the managerial functions were correctly carried out.
6. The worker was re-employed by a former employer within a matter of weeks.
Having considered the submissions made by the parties the Court is satisfied that the employer failed to adequately inform the worker of the nature and extent of the perceived shortcomings in his performance. Furthermore, the worker was never warned that his future employment was in jeopardy because of the manner in which he managed the premises.
It is clear that the employers failure to follow normal procedures, including the procedural steps prescribed in the Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures, (S.1. 146 2000). This, in the Court's view rendered the dismissal unfair.
The Court notes that the claimant returned to his former employment within 2 months of his dismissal. In these circumstances the Court recommends that the employer pay to the claimant compensation in the amount of €2,500 in full and final settlement of his claim.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
12th August, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Caroline Hayes, Court Secretary.