INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
(REPRESENTED BY ARTHUR COX, SOLICITORS)
- AND -
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
2. The dispute concerns a worker who commenced employment as a Product Marketing Manager on the 29th November, 2004. She was employed on a six months probationary period. The worker was dismissed on the 21st April, 2005. The Company claimed that she had not demonstrated satisfactory performance during her probationary period. The worker claimed that she was unfairly dismissed and sought to refer the issue to a Rights Commissioner for investigation . The Company objected to such a referral. On the 10th July, 2005 the worker referred a complaint to the Labour Court under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation. A Court hearing was held on the 25th October, 2005.
3. 1. The claimant experienced excessive shifting of job requirements and the shifting of goal definitions by her immediate manager as well as the changing of work priorities. This was not visited on other managers, new or old. This treatment confused and prevented the worker from being able to understand or take control of her role. The claimant was not provided with the essential support which was also significantly less than that provided to similar managers in similar positions.
3. The claimant believes that her employment was terminated, not due to her performance as stated in her termination meeting. She believes that it was as a result of a systematic effort by her immediate manager top portray her in a negative light to senior management .The claimant believes that this was done for personal reasons because she had formally raised concerns about the lack of role and job definition, poor support systems around her role and also her immediate manager's threatening and intimidating behaviour.
4. The claimant's employment was terminated by the Group Manager, who did not seek to understand the complete situation. He made a judgement based on poor and inadequate information, as well as having little understanding of the significant contributions made by the claimant.
5. The claimant was neglected by the Company and its senior management who knew that issues existed around her role, and also that management issues existed around her immediate manager for some time.
6. Despite the above the claimant made a significant contribution to the Company during her employment, developing and /or delivering over twenty marketing campaigns across a number of areas. The workload exceeded the number of campaigns owned and/or delivered by other Marketing Managers and feedback on her work was, at times, positive.
6. The claimant was dismissed in an unfair manner and seeks appropriate redress.
4. 1. The Company dismissed the claimant in accordance with Clause 1.2 of the contract of employment, which was signed on the 2nd November, 2004.
2. The Company at all times communicated, in a cogent manner, the nature of the claimant's role as well as the goals, which were to be achieved by the claimant. In particular, on January 7th the claimant was informed of the key competencies and expectations required for the Product Marketing Manager's role.
3. At the mid year discussion the claimant's immediate manager clearly communicated the areas in which the claimant was performing satisfactorily and those that clearly needed significant improvement. She did not threaten or intimidate the claimant.
4. Regular one to one meetings were held, the purpose of which were to review progress and provide coaching and feedback to the claimant. At all times the claimant's immediate manager emphasised and reiterated her commitment to assisting and supporting the claimant.
5. The claimant's immediate manager brought third party feedback to the claimant's attention regarding the effectiveness of a particular campaign for which the claimant was responsible. This demonstrated that the claimant's performance was considered to be inadequate by persons other than her immediate manager.
6. Following a one to one meeting on April 4th the claimant's immediate manager informed her that there had been an improvement in some areas ,however, a number of areas required an immediate, significant and sustained improvement. The claimant was fully aware of the action that was required to be taken in respect of ten projects, which were discussed at the meeting. The claimant was given every opportunity to improve her performance during the probationary period and she was treated fairly at all times. Her claim that she was unfairly dismissed is unfounded and unjustified.
The Court accepts that the Company was within its rights under Clause 1.2 of her contract of employment to terminate the employment of the claimant.
The Court, however, does not feel that the disciplinary and termination processes exercised by the Company were in accordance with good industrial relations practice in general or with the terms and spirit of S.I. 146 of 2000 in particular. The manner and means by which the Company dealt with the claimant fall well short of the standard expected of a world-class organisation.
The Court accordingly recommends that the claimant be paid the sum of €6,000 in compensation.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
10th November, 2005______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Tom O'Dea, Court Secretary.