INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY NATIONAL BUS & RAIL UNION)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Doherty
Worker Member: Mr Nash
1. Company would not re-employ on return of licence after drink driving conviction.
2. The issue before the Court concerns a claim by the Union on behalf of its member that he should be re-employed by the Company. The Worker commenced his employment as a driver with the Company in 2003. Following a conviction for drink driving in 2007, the worker lost his licence for a period of one year. The worker made a request for alternative duties but was informed by the Company that no alternative position was available. He believed he was left with no alternative but to resign. The Union argues that the worker should be re-employed and that the Company has facilitated drivers who have had their licenses suspended on previous occasions.
The Union referred the matter to the Labour Court on the 7th April, 2010, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 27th July, 2010. The Worker agreed to be bound by the Court's recommendation.
3. 1 There are a number of cases over the years where drivers who had their licenses suspended were facilitated with alternative duties.
2 The worker has been treated disproportionately to his colleagues in similar circumstances
3 The basis for refusing representations on the workers behalf to resume employment as a bus driver was that it was Company policy not to re-employ people whose license are suspended. The Company has to date, never informed staff that the Company policy has changed.
4. 1 It is Company policy not to re-employ staff who have lost their licence due to drink driving convictions.
2 Notwithstanding the Company policy on drink driving convictions, the Company is currently undergoing a cost reducing exercise across all grades of worker.
3 The Worker resigned in writing. He was never given any assurances that he would be re-employed after his licence had been returned.
Having considered the submissions of the parties the Court is satisfied that at the time the worker resigned there were no opportunities for redeployment. This appears to have been accepted by the worker at the time.
Having resigned the worker cannot have a right to re-employment. In these circumstances the Court cannot recommend that the worker be employed by the Company.
The Court further recommends that the Company clarify to the Union its policy regarding employment or re-employment of drivers who have their driving licence suspended as a result of conviction for a road traffic offence.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th August, 2010______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to David P Noonan, Court Secretary.