INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
TESCO IRELAND LIMITED
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY MANDATE)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's recommendation IR6277/01/TB.
2. The worker was employed by the Company as a Store Security officer on the 13th of May, 1998. Arising from an incident in the store in July, 2001, a customer complaint was made in writing to the Company. The worker was issued with a formal written warning. The Union argue that the warning was too severe.
The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. The Rights Commissioner's recommendation is as follows:-
"Having carefully considered the matter, I have concluded that the claimant showed a total lack of discretion in dealing with the incidents as they were described at the hearing. The Company should amend the letter of warning to delete the reference to the claimant misrepresenting his position in
Otherwise I see no reason why the letter should not stand."
On the 6th of March, 2002, the worker appealed the Rights Commissioner's recommendation to the Labour Court under Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court investigated the complaint on the 16th of July, 2002, in Athlone, Co. Westmeath.
4. 1. The worker is the security manager and is included on the management rosters.
2. Witness statements do not support the companies argument that the worker had an attitude when dealing with the complainant.
3. The worker carried out his duties as per his role as security manager and as he had been trained to do by the Company.
4. Nowhere in the company's documentation does it state that people with disabilities are to be treated differently.
5. It is not the norm for senior management to be called to assist with security situations.
6. The disciplinary letter was dated 6th of September, 2001, before the disciplinary procedures had been completed.
3. 1. The worker is a senior member of staff and he handled the incident in question in an unprofessional and insensitive manner.
2. The worker at no stage brought the matter to the Store Manager's attention or the young man's parent's attention, prior to the incident on the 28th of July, 2001.
3. The Company expects that all staff members should use their initiative and common sense when carrying out their duties, in particular, where there are exceptional circumstances, which need to be considered. It is expected that staff seek advice from senior management.
4. The worker's actions had no regard to Company policy, with regard to Customer Relations. All members of our staff receive training in relation to Customer Relations as part of their induction and on an on-going basis, and company policy is explicitly stated in our Staff Handbook, which the worker received.
Having carefully considered the submissions of the parties, the Court is satisfied that the claimant showed a lack of discretion in dealing with the incident which gave rise to the dispute. There was, however, some procedural deficiency in the process followed by the Company in that the letter of warning appears to have been composed (but not issued) before the disciplinary procedure was exhausted. Nonetheless, having regard to all the circumstances, the Court is satisfied that the warning issued was warranted. The Court does, however, recommend that the warning should expire on the date of this Decision.
The Court recommends that the Company should ensure that security staff are aware of its policy in relation to incidents of the type which arose in this case.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
29th July, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.