INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The worker commenced employment with the Company in April 2003. Her normal working hours were from 9.00a.m to 1.30p.m. On the 6th February, 2004, she was informed her employment was being terminated with one weeks notice. The worker did not receive any verbal or written warnings and was unaware there was any problems with her work. When she asked why she was being dismissed she was informed it was for health and safety reasons.
The worker referred her claim to the Labour Court on the 3rd June, 2004 in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 27th September, 2004.
3.1The worker did not receive any written or verbal warnings. She was unaware that there was any problems with her work.
2. In August, 2003 she requested a pay rise. Upon completion of a Health & Safety course, a pay rise was given.
3. She received no explanation other than health and safety for her dismissal, and this was not explained to her.
4. The worker explained that due to family commitments she was unable to stay some days to carry out all her duties.
4.1 In an oral submission to the Court the employer stated that the worker refused to follow the health & safety procedures and when asked to do specific duties, ie. clean the floor, she refused.
2. The Department of the Environment were doing regular checks on the Company's health & safety procedures and the Company could no longer employ a worker who refused to carry out those procedures.
3. The employer claims that it that he did informallstaff of their requirements under the Health & Safety Act.
The Court has considered the submissions of both sides concerning the alleged unfair dismissal of the worker. The Court is of the view that there was a lack of clarity surrounding the particular disciplinary procedures adopted by the Company. While the Court accepts that the employer clearly indicated to all staff the importance of complying with health and safety procedures and of the business consequences of non-compliance, it does not accept that such warnings were conveyed on an individual basis to the claimant, in such a manner as to suggest that her employment was in jeopardy.
As a result, the Court is of the view that the summary dismissal of the claimant was unacceptable. Consequently, the Court recommends that the claimant should be compensated by the payment of €800, to be accepted by her, in full and final settlement of all claims against the Company.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4th October, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.