INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
TOWNLINK CONSTRUCTION LTD
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-037684-Ir-05/TB
2. The case before the Court concerns an appeal by the Worker of Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-037684-Ir-05/TB. The dispute concerns a former employee of Townlink Construction Ltd who was dismissed for allegedly verbally abusing a supervisor having been reprimanded for using his mobile phone while on duty. The Union's position is that the mobile phone was used in an emergency situation and that it is now accepted that it is a forbidden practice on site. The Union further contends that the alleged verbal abuse/ threatening incident was not investigated prior to the dismissal of the worker.
The Company's position is that the worker had received a written warning in relation to the use of the mobile phone but had been dismissed as a result of threatening the Site Manager.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. His recommendation issued on the 15th March, 2006, as follows:
"Based on the evidence and on the discussions at the hearing I have concluded that proper procedures were not followed in the dismissal of the claimant. At the same time I accept that the behaviour of the claimant left a lot to be desired.
Taking all factors into account I recommend that the company pay the claimant €1500 in settlement of this matter."
On 25th April, 2006 the worker appealed the Right's Commissioner's Recommendation in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on 11th August, 2006.
3. 1. It is accepted that the use of mobile phones is not permitted on site. The incident in question was an emergency and the worker had made every effort to convey this to site management on the day.
2. The worker was not afforded natural justice in relation to his alleged threatening behaviour. He was dismissed the following morning without any investigation into the incident.
4. 1. All employees knew that the use of mobile phones was prohibited on site. This was a clear breach of company policy.
2. The worker was dismissed for gross misconduct having verbally abused and threatened the Site Manager.
Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court confirms the decision of the Right's Commissioner and dismisses the appeal.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
30th August 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Andrew Heavey, Court Secretary.