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 IR7313/02/MR.
2. The worker commenced employment with the Company on a part-time basis in September, 2001. Her brother was also employed as a security guard. The worker claims that from the start her supervisor adopted an over-friendly approach to her, including spending entire shifts with her, and that this continued throughout her employment. Because of the attention, the worker did not attend work for 2 weeks but claims that she was still paid for her shift. She claims that the supervisor asked her to return to work and when she did so she was transferred to Nenagh. As she had no transport, the supervisor would drive her to Nenagh and the same pattern of unwanted attention recommenced. During the last week of her employment the worker was told that she was being transferred to Dublin. When she declined, she was told that there was no more work for her.
Following representation by the Union, the worker was to be reinstated on the 12th of November, 2001. When she reported for work she found that the position had already been filled. The Company denies that the supervisor paid any undue attention to the worker. It claims that she did not report for work until 12.00 noon on the 12th of November, although she was due at 7.15 a.m. As a result, the worker, in effect, terminated her own employment.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner whose recommendation was as follows:
"Accordingly, I recommend that Pegasus Security Group Limited should now agree to pay the worker a once-off lump sum of €150 and that 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 worker and her Union representative did not attend.
The worker appealed the recommendation 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. If the Rights Commissioner had the benefit of direct representation on behalf of the worker, his recommendation would have been significantly different.
2. The Union believes that the supervisor abused his position of authority and manufactured a false redundancy situation. Senior management in the firm should have had more control over the supervisor.
3. The Company claims that the worker only completed 50 hours but she has supplied proof that she worked far in excess of that.
4. 1. The supervisor denies that he paid unwanted attention to the worker. It was normal practice to sit with any new employee. This issue was not raised until the Labour Court hearing.
2. There was no unfair dismissal. The worker, in effect, terminated her own employment by not reporting for work on time on the 12th of November, 2001.
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.