INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
PROTOCOL BRIDAL WEAR FOR MEN AND WOMEN LTD
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR14864/03/TB.
2. The issue involves a worker who claims that her dismissal from the Company was unfair as two new employees were hired in January, 2003, and were kept on while she was let go on the 23rd February, 2003. The matter was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 25th November 2003, the Rights Commissioner issued his recommendation as follows:
"I believe that the claimant has good grounds for her complaint and I recommend that she be paid €800 in compensation".
- On the 9th January, 2004 the Employer appealed the Rights Commissioner's recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 3rd March, 2004.
3.1 The reason the worker was let go was there was a decline in business in January/February, 2003. Management sought advice from the Labour Relations Commission and followed the guidelines with regard to staff terminations.
2. The two workers employed in January, 2003 were taken on because of their expertise. The worker dismissed did not have the same level of experience as the two new staff.
4.1 The worker maintains her dismissal was a result of requesting weekly or monthly pay slips which she had difficulty obtaining from the Company.
2. When the worker checked with Social Welfare on her entitlements she discovered she was not registered for PRSI. She informed the company of this and was subsequently registered. The worker had been employed full-time with the Company. When she eventually received her P45 and P60 forms, she noticed that she was only paying part-time PRSI contributions and not the full amount.
3. There were no problems with the worker's performance, she got on well with staff and customers.
4. Two other members of staff employed in January, 2003 were not let go. The worker was the only one to be dismissed
The Court has considered the Company's appeal to the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation.
The Court accepts the Company's position that there was a decline in the business in February 2003, which necessitated a reduction in the number of employees.
However, the Court notes the difficulty experienced by the worker in relation to her request for payslips and understands that as a consequence of not receiving such payslips she did not learn of her PRSI contributions shortfall until after her employment expired. The Court holds the employer accountable for these problems.
Consequently, the Court upholds the recommendation of the Rights Commissioner that she should be paid €800 compensation.
The appeal fails. The Rights Commissioner's Recommendation is hereby upheld. The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.