INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The case before the Court concerns a worker who is claiming that she was unfairly dismissed from her employment in Dunnes Stores.
The worker was absent from work on certified sick leave for a period of one week in May, 2004. She was subsequently called to what she believed was a "back to work interview" by the Human Resources Department. At this meeting the worker was dismissed on the basis that she had excessive sick leave while on probation.
On the 10th September, 2004, the worker referred the issue to the Labour Court, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 2nd December, 2004.
The worker agreed to be bound by the Court's Recommendation.
The Company declined an invitation to attend the hearing but outlined their position in a letter to the Court.
3. 1. At no time was the worker given any written warning in relation to her absences on sick leave.
2. The meeting at which the worker was dismissed was supposedly a back to work interview given to the employees following a period of sick leave. The worker was unaware that her position in the Company was in jeopardy as a result of her illness.
4. 1. The worker in question had excessive sick leave while on probation and was dismissed in accordance with the companys disciplinary procedures.
Having considered the written and oral evidence, the Court is not satisfied that fair and transparent procedures were followed in this case, or that the claimant was made aware that her employment was in jeopardy. Accordingly, the Court finds that she was not fairly dismissed and awards the claimant compensation of €1000. The Court would urge the Company to ensure that employees are made fully aware, in writing, of their situation at all stages of any disciplinary procedure.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th December, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.