INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Mr McGee
Employer Member: Mr Grier
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Appeal against Rights Commissioner's Recommendation R-031679-Ir-04-DI.
2. The worker concerned commenced employment as a Basic Grade Technician at the Microbiology Department of Portlaoise General Hospital in 1990. Whilst availing of a career break the position he held was upgraded to a Senior I and he was interviewed for same. His application was unsuccessful.
Following his return to work in January 2003 he became aware that the Senior I position was being upgraded to Senior II and that interviews would be taking place within a few weeks. He applied and was successful in the interview. He was placed second on the panel. There was only one post available. The worker felt he had been treated unfairly in that both interviews had been similar but had very different outcomes.
The issue was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. His recommendation issued on the 17th August, 2005, as follows:-
"... I do not find that the claimant has been treated unfairly in relation to the selection process for promotional posts. I therefore find against this element of the claimant's complaint under the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 to 2004."
The Union on behalf of the worker appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 16th September, 2005, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 13th June, 2006, the earliest date suitable to the parties.
3. 1.Both interviews were of very short duration, 15 minutes each, and no notes were available afterwards.
2. There is no logical reasonfor the contradictory scores at the two interviews.
3. With respect to the second interview the worker was not informed of his entitlement to be interviewed and was given twenty four hours to submit an application. Other candidates were informed three months previously.
4. 1. Management is satisfied that the worker was at all times dealt with equitably, fairly and in line with long established recruitment practice.
2. The worker was issued with an application form for the upgrading to Senior II on the 21st January 2003, returned it on the 22nd January and was interviewed on the 31st January 2003, nine days later.
3. The worker was successful in the second interview, having been placed second, but there was only one post available.
The Court has considered the submissions made in this case.
The interview scoring sheets used as feedback lacked sufficient consistency to enable the interviewee to specifically understand, for comparison purposes, the outcomes of the interviews.
The Court's consideration of the overall process, as to its fairness, upholds the decision of the Rights Commissioner.
The Court so decides, but advises the HSE to ensure that its selection/interview procedures are clear, fair and transparent.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th June, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Madelon Geoghegan, Court Secretary.