INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
CORK ARTS JOB INITIATIVE LTD
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. (a) Fair procedure, (b) Investigation and compensation.
2. The worker has been employed at the Cork Arts Job Initiative since July, 1998. The project is funded by Fás. The worker claims that he has been bullied and harassed at his place of employment. The Union states that no proper investigation has taken place by management following the worker's complaint.
Management rejected the worker's claim that he was bullied or harassed.
The Union referred the dispute to the Labour Court under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's Recommendation. The Court investigated the dispute in Cork on the 29th January, 2003.
The Company did not attend the hearing but submitted a letter to the Court.
3. 1. The worker has been on uncertified sick leave for stress related illness as a result of his perceived treatment.
2. The Company does not have a policy or procedure in place to address issues of this nature.
3. The worker was never interviewed or questioned in relation to his complaint of bullying and harassment.
4. The Company has refused any third party independent investigation even though their findings are in dispute.
5. The worker is still receiving counselling to enable him to cope with this ongoing situation. He has been attending a counsellor now for two years.
The employer did not attend the hearing but submitted a letter to the Court indicating, " all of these allegations of bullying and harassment were investigated and found to be groundless".
Unfortunately due to the non-attendance of the employer, the Court was unable to clarify points of difference between the claimant's submission and the written input from the employer.
Having considered the submissions made, the Court is not satisfied:
- that a proper investigation has been completed by the employer following a complaint of bullying and harassment.
- that the claimant was interviewed in relation to his complaint or afforded the right of response in relation to inputs by others on this matter.
In addition it would appear the organisation does not have a policy or procedures to address complaints of this nature.
The Court having considered the information available to it finds the claimant's request, for an independent investigation of his complaint of bullying and harassment, to be reasonable in the circumstances.
The Court, therefore, recommends that the complaint of bullying and harassment made by the claimant be investigated by an independent third party.
In the event of this recommendation not being accepted by the parties the Court will on request, reconvene to hear submissions on the claim of bullying and harassment.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th February, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Larry Wisely, Court Secretary.