INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1); INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT; 1969
SPECIAL OLYMPICS IRELAND
- AND -
Chairman: Mr Hayes
Employer Member: Ms Cryan
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. Bullying, Harassment, Victimisation and Unfair Dismissal.
2. CD/13/226 and CD/13/227 were conjoined for the purpose of this claim and were heard together. The case concerns a claim by a Worker that she was bullied and harassed in the workplace and that resulting from this she was unfairly dismissed.
The Employer said the Claimant was employed on probation for a six month period, which was extended for 3 months following a review. At the end of the 3 month period the Claimant's employment was terminated.
On the 30th April 2013 the Worker referred a dispute to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969 and agreed to be bound by the Court's Recommendation.
A Labour Court hearing took place on the 18th July 2013.
3. 1. The Claimant was employed by the Company from the 16th January 2012 to the 8th November 2012. During this time she was bullied in a covert and overt manner. The Claimant complained verbally to the CEO about the treatment, but the bullying continued.
2. The Claimant was left to complete unrealistic work objectives with inadequate resources. Due to unrealistic goals, the Claimant worked additional hours which caused her severe stress and anxiety.
3. The Claimant was not given adequate training during the first six months and was left to show another colleague how to complete work tasks. Her Health suffered as a result of workplace stress.
4. 1. The Company is a non-for-profit charitable organisation and is substantially funded by public donations and through State aid.
2. The Company said there was no evidence to substantiate her claims. The Claimant received comprehensive training during the six month probationary period, which included induction, on the job and CRM training.
3. Prior to the first probation review on the 16thJuly, a number of incidents arose which the Claimant’s Line Manager felt it necessary to put to her. They were not expressed in a critical manner, but rather as positive feedback. Unfortunately the shortcomings in her performance persisted and following the second probation review, the Claimant was told she had not passed the probation and that her contract would be terminated.
This case comes before the Court under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Acts 1969
Both parties made extensive written submissions to the Court on the issues involved. The parties also made extensive oral submissions to the Court.
On the basis of the evidence before it the Court recommends that the matters in dispute between the parties be resolved as follows: -
The parties should seek to agree a reference in terms acceptable to both sides. In the event that agreement cannot be reached the Court recommends that the Respondent provide the Claimant with a reference on the best terms it considers appropriate in the circumstances.
Bullying and Harassment
The Court finds that, as no written complaint was made in the course of the Claimant’s employment, no purpose will be served by commencing an investigation into the allegations made in this case. Accordingly the Court recommends that the parties reflect on the nature of the relationships that pertained over the course of the Claimant’s employment and take whatever steps are necessary and appropriate to address any issues that arise out of this reflection.
The Court finds that the procedural manner in which the termination of the Claimant’s employment was dealt with by the Respondent fell significantly short of good practice in this regard. The Court finds that the Claimant was unfairly treated by the Respondent in relation to the review of her suitability for employment and the manner in which her employment was terminated. As a result of the unfair treatment the Claimant suffered considerable financial loss. Accordingly the Court recommends that the Respondent pay the Claimant the sum of €9,750 compensation for the loss she suffered.
The Court makes this recommendation as the basis for a full and final settlement of all of the issues in dispute.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
23rd August, 2013Deputy Chairman
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Ciaran Roche, Court Secretary.