INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-034359-Ma-05-DI.
2. The Company is the operational support operation in Ireland for the Indesit range of consumer electrical appliances and operates a customer support centre in Santry, Dublin. The worker concerned commenced employment as a Customer Advisor at the centre in September, 2004. Her employment was subject to ‘satisfactory completion of a three month trial period.’ The worker was given workplace-based training and coaching in the same way as other employee/recruits.
When coaching was being provided by the Supervisor the worker was regularly cautioned that her performance during her trial period was not up to standard and was specifically warned that this was a critical issue in the context of her employment contract.
On 1st December, 2004, the Company released the worker from her contract with due notice and holiday pay entitlements. She was offered pay in lieu of notice but worked to her termination date of 8th December, 2004.
The issue was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation.The Rights Commissioner's decision found that the worker's employment was terminated in accordance with the terms of her contract.
The worker appealed the Recommendation to the Labour Court on the 2nd December, 2005, in accordance with Section13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969.A Labour Court hearing took place on the 7th December, 2005.
3. 1.There was no attempt to carry out disciplinary procedures regarding conduct i.e work performance.
2. The Employer is bound by the terms of the contract of employment, both implied and express.
4. 1.The worker was released during probation as she was not able to adequately perform the tasks for which she was employed.
2. The worker was provided with hands on training throughout her period of employment.
3. The worker was fairly and objectively reviewed and subsequently released under the terms of her contract.
The net issue for consideration by the Court is whether her employer was entitled to terminate the Claimant's employment during her probationary period or whether it could only do so at the end of the period. In considering the question the Court is guided by normal standards of good employment practice. It is not adjudicating on a claim for wrongful dismissal or breach of contract.
It is clear to the Court that the Employer had concerns in relation to the Claimants work performance and those concerns were communicated to the Claimant. In these circumstances the Employer did not act unreasonably nor contrary to good practice in deciding to terminate the Claimant's employment within the probationary period when her performance did not sufficiently improve. Consequently, the Court is satisfied that the conclusions reached by the Rights Commissioner are reasonable and that his Recommendation should be upheld.
Accordingly, the Recommendation of the Rights Commissioner is affirmed and the appeal is disallowed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th December, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.