INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
PEGASUS SECURITY GROUP
(REPRESENTED BY DENIS MCSWEENEY SOLICITORS)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Flood
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR7314/02/MR.
2. The worker commenced employment in March, 2001, in the Revenue Commissioners, River House, Limerick, and in September, 2001, his sister also began work on a part-time basis. The Union claims that on the 22nd of October, 2001, the worker was told that he had holiday time and that he should take one week's leave. He did so and, when he returned the following week, he was told to take another week's leave which he also did. When he reported for work the following Monday week, he found that a new security guard had been employed in his position. He was told that, due to a cutting of staff requirements, there was no further work available. Following representation from the Union, it was agreed that the worker would be re-instated on the following Monday, the 12th of November, 2001. When the worker reported for work on Monday he found that the position was already filled. When the worker approached his supervisor, he was told that he should have reported for work on the previous Monday. The worker claims that the agreement to re-instate him had only happened on the previous Thursday.
The Company's view is that on the 19th of October, 2001, the worker arrived on duty at 00.30 hours, left the building at 00.45 hours and did not return until 3.00a.m. The supervisor found him unfit for duty due to intoxication and sent him home. Following the meeting with the Union, the worker and his sister were due to report for work at 7.15a.m. on the 12th of November, 2001, but did not arrive until 12.00 noon. The Company maintains that both workers, in effect, terminated their employment by not returning at the time agreed with their Union.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner and his recommendation is as follows:
"Accordingly, I recommend that Pegasus Security Group Limited should now agree to pay the worker a once-off lump sum of €300 and the worker and SIPTU should accept this sum in full and final settlement of all matters in dispute between the parties."
(The worker was named in the above recommendation)
Due to confusion over the date of the Rights Commissioner's hearing, the Union and the worker did not attend.
The worker appealed his case to the Labour Court on the 7th of August, 2002, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations, Act 1969. Labour Court hearings took place on the 5th of March, 2003, and the 2nd of July, 2003, in Limerick.
3. 1. The worker denies that he walked off duty on the night of the 19th of October, 2001.
2. The worker did attend for work at 7.15a.m. on the 12th of November, 2001, but did not see the supervisor. He went to see his Union representative at 9.15a.m.
3. The Union believes that if the Rights Commissioner had the benefit of direct representation on behalf of the worker his recommendation would have been significantly different.
4. 1. The worker was due to report for work at 7.15 a.m. on the 12th of November, 2001, but did not appear until 12.00 noon. The supervisor had to arrange for another security guard to do the shift.
2. The issue of an unfair dismissal does not arise. The supervisor did not dismiss the worker, as claimed, as he did not have the authority to do so.
Based on the information before it, the Court supports the Rights Commissioner's findings.
However, the Court recommends that the level of award be increased to €1,000 in full and final settlement of this case.
The Rights Commissioner's recommendation to be amended accordingly.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
18th July, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.