INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2004
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
THE POINT DEPOT
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Alleged unfair dismissal.
2. The Claimant was employed as a General Operative with the Company for approximately seven years and last worked there in 1999. During the time the Claimant was working with the Company he was having a number of difficulties and was battling with drug addiction and the related social issues around this condition. The Claimant was sent home by Management on one occasion during 1999 and was not allowed to return to his employment.
There was a number of letters from the Claimant's Union at the time seeking clarification as to what his exact status was. The issue was referred to a Rights Commissioner but the hearing never took place. The Claimant has tried to get a hearing of his case with the employer and a Rights Commissioner, but unfortunately for various reasons his case has not been heard.
The Claimant referred the claim to the Labour Court on the 16th March, 2006 in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's Recommendation. IBEC on behalf of the Company wrote to the Labour Court on the 10th August, 2006 stating that:- "The Claimant has not been in the employment of the Depot since 1999, following an extended absence. And that subsequent to 1999 he made no contact with The Point Depot". The Company declined to attend a Labour Court hearing. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 14th September, 2006.
CLAIMANT' S ARGUMENTS:
3.1 The Claimant claims that his position with the Company was not clarified at the relevant time in 1999.
2. No assistance nor support was offered to him so that he could continue in employment.
3. No disciplinary or grievance procedures were afforded to him by the Company.
The Court has considered the Claimant's submission in this case. The Employer failed to attend the hearing, however, a written statement was submitted on its behalf. This statement stated that the Claimant had not been in its employment since 1999, following an extended absence and that he had made no further contact with the Company thereafter. Having heard the evidence of the Claimant the Court acknowledges the long period of time which has elapsed since the Claimant concerned was last called in for employment from the list system.
The Claimant did provide medical evidence that he was being treated for addiction and was in recovery since 1999.
It is the view of the Court that efforts should have been made to accommodate him in his efforts to resolve his addiction problem in conjunction with professional assistance.
As there was no evidence available to the Court of disciplinary warnings or assistance of any kind the Court recommends that the Company offer and the Claimant accepts, as final closure, a termination of employment payment of €1,500 and as compensation for the non-application of good industrial relations procedures.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Jackie Byrne, Court Secretary.