INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Pierce
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's recommendation IR124296/01/JH.
2. The worker has been employed by the Company for 12 years. In January, 2001, an incident occurred regarding the availability of a "video" bus and the worker took his own bus out of service. This became the subject of disciplinary hearings and he was given notice of dismissal. There was an appeal hearing and the sanction was reduced to a suspension and a final written warning. The matter was referred to the Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 11th of October, 2001, the Rights Commissioner recommended the following:-
"Disciplinary sanction imposed on the worker in January 2001 to be removed from his record and any deduction of pay resulting from that suspension to be restored.
The medical assessment by the CMO in line with the company medical scheme to take place and any further payments of sick benefit to be reviewed in light of that assessment."
(The worker was named in the Rights Commissioner's recommendation).
On the 30th of October, 2001, the Company appealed the Rights Commissioner's recommendation to the Labour Court under Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. The Court heard the appeal on the 13th of March, 2002.
3. 1. It is custom and practice for an appeal hearing to take place without the worker being present.
2. It is normal procedure for the Trade Union to advise the worker regarding the time and date of an appeal hearing.
3. An advocate is additional to the Board. Custom and practice is that advocates do not attend.
4. The Company procedures have stood up to previous scrutiny. The procedures were agreed collectively and conform to principals of natural justice.
4. 1. The Company procedure is outdated and flawed.
2. The worker was not advised of the date and time of the hearing.
3. Procedures state that the worker is entitled to an advocate.
4. The worker was not present at the appeal hearing.
Having given consideration to all aspects of this appeal, the Court concurs with the Rights Commissioner's findings that the Company procedures were flawed and, therefore, upholds the Rights Commissioner's recommendation.
Accordingly, the Company's appeal is dismissed.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
25th March, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.