INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 29(1), SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELFARE AT WORK ACT, 2005
MOUNTWOOD FITZGERALD PARK COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Ms Cryan
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioner Decision R-068161-HS-08.
2. The case before the Court concerns a claim by the Worker in relation to an appeal of a Rights Commissioner's Decision R-068161-HS-08, where the Rights Commissioner found that the Worker's complaint did not constitute one of penalisation under Section 27 of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. The Worker was employed on a one year contract from May 2007 until June 2008, as part of a FAS administered Community Employment Scheme. The Worker's contract of employment was not renewed upon cessation of the fixed-term contract. It is the Worker's claim that during the course of his employment he raised several complaints in relation to health and safety issues however he was never provided with any resolution to his grievances. He further contends that the complaints he made ultimately led to his dismissal. The Employer rejects the Worker's claim and maintains that at no stage did the Worker formally raise any issues regarding health and safety. The Employer also disputes the fact that the Worker was dismissed as a result of any such complaints being made.
On the 22nd July 2011, the Worker submitted the appeal in accordance with Section 29(1) of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. A Labour Court hearing took place on 11th November 2011.
The following is the Court's Determination:
In this case the Claimant contends that he was dismissed for having raised issues relating to health and safety with his former employer. He claims that this constituted penalisation within the meaning of S.27 of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
While there is a dispute as to whether or not the Claimant did raise issues concerning health and safety there is no dispute as to the fact that his contract was not renewed on its expiry after his first year of fixed-term employment. The representative of the employer gave an explanation for the non-renewal of the Claimant's employment which is unrelated to any matters concerning health and safety. The Court finds that explanation reasonable and acceptable in the circumstances of the employment concerned. Accordingly, the Court can see no causal connection between any issues relating to health and safety and the non-renewal of the Claimant's employment.
In these circumstances the Court agrees with the conclusion reached by the Rights Commissioner. The Court must therefore uphold the Rights Commissioner's decision and disallow the appeal.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
17th November 2011______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.