INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
BOWEN CONSTRUCTION LIMITED
- AND -
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Various issues.
2. The Worker commenced employment with the Company in March 2008 as a high tower crane driver and continued in that position until November 2008 when he was dismissed for gross misconduct. The Worker is seeking to have the decision to dismiss him overturned and to be compensated for loss of earnings.
On the 8th July, 2009 the Worker referred the issue to the Labour Court, in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 22nd September, 2010.
The Worker agreed to be bound by the Court’s Recommendation.
3. 1. The Company's decision to dismiss was both premature and did not adhere to proper procedures and fairness as set out in Industrial Relations legislation.
2.The incident that led to the dismissal did not cause any injury, damage to equipment nor loss of revenue to the Company.
3. Each driver is collectively and individually responsible for their own and others' safety yet only the Worker was singled out for dismissal.
4. 1. The claim is essentially one for unfair dismissal, however, the Company carried out a fair investigation into the incident followed by a disciplinary process which involved suspension with pay and the right to appeal.
2.The procedures followed are in line with those in S.I.146 of 2000 and the decision to dismiss proportionate to the seriousness of the incident.
The claim before the Court concerns the Worker’s claim that he was unfairly dismissed from his employment on 18th November 2008. The Worker was employed by the Company as a Crane Driver. The Employer stated that his employment was terminated for gross misconduct when on the evening of 6th October 2008 he failed to observe health and safety standards, tower crane driving protocols and method statements.
The Claimant accepted that an incident occurred on the evening in question for which he admitted some of the responsibility, however, he submitted that his Employer had failed to install proper anti-collision devices into his crane and had not observed appropriate disciplinary procedures.
Having considered the oral and written submissions of both parties the Court notes the Claimant’s admission of negligence on his part in not observing the correct safety procedures on the evening in question which directly gave rise to a collision between two cranes.
The Court has examined details of the investigation into the incident carried out by the Employer and can find no evidence of unfair treatment. Therefore, the Court does not find in favour of the Claimant’s claim that he was unfairly dismissed and accordingly dismisses his claim.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
11th October, 2010______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to John Foley, Court Secretary.