INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
STANLANE ENTERPRISES LIMITED T/A REGENCY CLEANERS
(REPRESENTED BY JUDGE &COMPANY, SOLICITORS)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal Against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation IR19555/04/GF.
2. The Company operates eight dry cleaning branches throughout the city and employs approximately 50 workers. The appeal concerns a worker who commenced employment as a dry cleaning operator in March, 1999. He worked initially at the Company's outlet in Tallaght and later at the a new branch in Crumlin. His duties there included the cleaning of leather and suede garments. The worker's employment ended in January, 2004. The worker claimed that he was constructively dismissed from the employment and referred the issue to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 6th September, 2004 the Rights Commissioner issued his recommendation as follows:
" Ihave listened to this case carefully and must come to the conclusion that what occurred here did not amount to a constructive dismissal. I accept that the absence of a contract of employment placed the claimant at some disadvantage but some efforts were made to clarify the position, which were unsuccessful regrettably. I recommend the claimant be paid the sum of €2,500 in settlement of the matter."
On the 1st October, 2004 the worker appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court. The Court heard the appeal on the 13th January, 2005.
3.1. The worker was a very diligent and conscientiously employee. The Crumlin outlet was a successful one because of his efforts. However, his endeavours were not rewarded by the Company. Despite requests by the worker Management did not invest in the necessary equipment essential to maintain the outlet's profitability.
2. Because of the ongoing difficulties experienced by him in the employment the worker expressed his intention to leave and sought all outstanding payments due to him. The Company did not pay the worker his entitlements.
3. Following a meeting with Management the worker was offered alternative employment at the Company's Blanchardstown branch but the offer was unsuitable and he rejected it.
4. The worker was forced to resign from the employment because of his treatment by the Company. He seeks appropriate redress.
4. 1. The quality of the claimant's work of the cleaning of leather and suede at the Crumlin outlet was well below standard and Management spoke to the claimant in this regard. The Company received a number of garment damage claims and turnover at the Crumlin outlet dropped.
2. The Company proposed to transfer the claimant to another outlet and work under supervision. He requested time to consider the offer. On the 26th January, 2004 he requested a week's leave which was granted. He has not returned to work since that date. The Company did not dismiss the worker, he left of his own volition.
Having carefully considered the oral and written evidence presented to it, the Court is of the view, on balance, that the claimant was constructively dismissed.
Accordingly, the Court allows the appeal and awards the claimant the sum of €7,000 to include the sum of €2,500 already recommended.
The Rights Commissioner's recommendation is amended accordingly.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
19th January, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.