INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
BUY 4 NOW LOGISTICS LTD
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY MANDATE)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The case before the Court concerns a worker who was employed by Buy4Now Logistics Ltd as a delivery driver from 2nd December 2002 to 3rd November 2003 . The worker was dismissed on 3rd November 2003 on the grounds of misconduct.
The Company alleges that the worker in question made several sexually inappropriate remarks to female members of staff at a client premises and continued to do so despite receiving warnings against such behaviour.
The Union's case is that the worker had not been given an opportunity to respond to remarks allegedly made but had not been given the opportunity to defend himself or to have representation at a disciplinary hearing.
On the 19th July 2004 the Union 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 1st October 2004.
The worker agreed to be bound by the Court’s Recommendation.
3 1. The worker in question was dismissed without being afforded the opportunity to refute the allegations made against him.
2. The worker in question never received training with regard to Company policy, including sexual harassment policy.
3. The Company acted contrary to their own procedures. There was no consideration given to the rebuttal of the allegations, nor was the worker allowed representation by the Union at the appeal hearing. As a result there was no appeal hearing which denied the worker the Right of Representation.
4. 1. At a meeting with management, the worker denied making some but not all of the comments referredto. Given that a written warning had already been issued, the Company was left with no option but to dismiss him on the grounds of misconduct.
2. The worker in question chose not to appeal the initial steps of verbal and written warning. If he had, the Company would have gone through procedures.
3. When it was discovered that the Company did not have a recognition agreement with Mandate Trade Union, the Company offered the worker the opportunity to have the Union official there in a personal capacity only or to re-schedule the appeal hearing. As both options were declined, the decision to dismiss the worker was upheld.
The Court has considered the oral and written submissions of the parties.
The Court notes that the worker was afforded representation at the appeal hearing of his dismissal and that such representation was declined.
In light of the evidence presented at the hearing, the Court is satisfied that the Company operated fair procedures and that the dismissal of the worker was not unfair. Consequently, the Court does not find in favour of the claimant’s claim for compensation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
26th October 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.