INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
CULLEN CLEANING LIMITED
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Alleged unfair treatment.
2. The Company is involved in the contract cleaning business and employs approximately 280 people. The worker was employed from the 22nd of November, 2005, to the 21st of December, 2005, when, she claims, she was unfairly dismissed. The worker listed a number of complaints to the Labour Court including threatening behaviour and being refused entry to her workplace. The worker also claims that she was made permanent. The Company's case is that it found the worker very difficult to deal with and that she was let go before Christmas as there was no longer any work for her.
The worker referred her case to the Labour Court on the 20th of July, 2006, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 12th of October, 2006. The worker agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
3. 1. The worker was accused of refusing to work in the past which was untrue.
2. On the 21st of December, 2005, she received a phone call at home from a Company representative to tell her that she was dismissed. When she asked if there was a problem with her work she was told that there was no problem. The phone call caused anxiety for the worker and her family.
3. The worker was paid up to the 24th of December but when she attempted to enter the building on that date she was refused entry.
4. 1. The Company has an excellent reputation in the contract cleaning industry.
2. The worker was employed on a probationary contract and was let go before Christmas as there was no longer any work for her. She had replaced another employee who was on leave.
3. The worker was aggressive to her supervisor, who has an impeccable record in the industry, and made unwarranted accusations against her . She refused to do work she was given.
The claim before the Court concerns the worker’s grievance concerning her experiences in her workplace and the termination of her employment. The worker was employed on a relief basis to cover for an absent employee over the Christmas period. The worker disputed her temporary status and maintained that her employment had been made permanent shortly after she commenced.
The Court was presented with conflicting accounts on a number of matters, however, the Court is satisfied based on the evidence submitted that the worker’s employment terminated on 21st December, 2005, as she was no longer required.
Having considered the views of the parties expressed in their oral and written submissions, the Court notes the absence of any formal procedures pertaining to her recruitment and terms of employment. Furthermore, the Court is of the view that the procedures adopted in laying her off were seriously flawed. In all the circumstances of this case, the Court recommends that she should be compensated by the payment of €300 in full and final settlement of the claim before the Court.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
27th October, 2006______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.