INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
K&M PARTNERSHIP TRADING AS SMYTHS BAR (ICON NIGHTCLUB)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioners Recommendation Ir33931/05/MR.
2. The worker was employed as a barman for the Company from January, 2005, to April, 2005. In April, 2005, he attended the Icon Night Club while off duty where he put his coat in the customers' cloakroom without paying the €2 charge. He claims that this was normal procedure for employees working in the Company. An argument ensued with one of the Managers when he refused to pay. The following day when he turned up for his rostered shift he was advised that his position was terminated. The Company claims that there had been problems with the worker prior to the incident in the nightclub.
The dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner whose recommendation was as follows:-
"I therefore recommend that Club Icon should accept that their dismissal of the worker was unfair and that Club Icon should now pay the worker the sum of €1,280 in compensation for this unfair dismissal.".
The Company appealed the recommendation to the Labour Court on the 4th of November, 2005, in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 8th of November, 2006, in Limerick.
3. 1.The Company did not follow correct procedures when dismissing the worker. He was not afforded the right of reply, right of representation or right of appeal, regardless of whether he was on probation or not.
2. The worker had left his coat in the cloakroom before without paying for it. This concession was available to staff members.
3. The worker was not told of any problem with his work prior to the dismissal apart from some initial learning difficulties.
4. 1. The worker was on a 3-month probationary period and was told that he could be dismissed with one week's notice. He was dismissed after eleven weeks.
2. The worker had been told on a number of occasions that his work was not satisfactory and that he would need to improve.
3. Under no circumstances were employees allowed to have free access to the cloakroom.
The case before the Court concerns an appeal by the employer against the Rights Commissioner’s recommendation which found that the dismissal of the worker was unfair in the circumstances and recommended the sum of €1,280 in compensation.
Having examined the submissions and evidence presented by both parties, the Court is of the view that the disciplinary procedures adopted by the Company were inappropriate, and were not carried out in accordance with Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures S.I. No 146 of 2000.
Consequently, the Court concurs with the findings and recommendation of the Rights Commissioner and upholds the compensation award of €1,280 in full and final settlement of the claim before the Court.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th November, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.