INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
BUS ATHA CLIATH
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR14274/03/JH.
2. The worker concerned commenced employment with the Company in August, 2000 as an Engineering Operative. During a period from September, 2000 up until January, 2002 he was involved in 4 accidents on the Company premises while driving. The fourth accident had a fatal outcome.
Following the fourth accident the Company stood down the worker and he has not driven for the Company since. Alternative employment has been provided for the worker in the same location and on the same shift. The worker wishes to resume the driving duties he previously carried out.
The issue was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. Her recommendation which issued on the 31st of October, 2003, is as follows:
"Based on the submissions made at the hearing I recommend that the worker accept that it is not in his interest or the company's that he is returned to driving duties. I further recommend that the company review and ensure the implementation of the commitment to the worker regarding spare duties.".
(The worker was named in the Rights Commissioner's recommendation.)
The Union appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 25th of November, 2003, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 18th of February, 2004.
3. 1. The Union claim that the worker is being denied fair procedures, due process and natural justice in the way he is being treated by the Company.
2. No disciplinary action has ever been taken against the worker.
3. There is no medical reason why the worker should be prohibited from driving.
4. 1.The Company believe it would be irresponsible to allow the worker to continue driving following the fatal accident.
2. The company has provided alternative employment in the same location and on the same shift to the worker.
3. The Company believes that standing down the worker was the only course of action open to it in the interest of the safety of all it's staff, including the worker concerned.
Having considered the written and oral submission of both parties the Court concurs with the conclusion and recommendation of the Rights Commissioner and accordingly upholds her recommendation.
The appellant's appeal is disallowed.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
1st March, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.