INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 20(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
STOBART (IRELAND) DRIVER SERVICES LIMITED
(REPRESENTED BY PURDY FITZGERALD SOLICITORS)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Ms Doyle
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. Appeal against Final Written Warning.
2. The case before the Court concerns the Union's appeal of a sanction imposed on its member following an alleged workplace incident. It is the Union's claim that the final written warning issued to the Worker was unwarranted and disproportionate in all the circumstances surrounding the incident. Following the occurrence of the incident, the Worker was suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation and subsequent disciplinary hearing which resulted in the issuing of a final written warning to be placed on the Worker's personnel file for a period of one year. The Worker appealed the sanction however Management took the decision to uphold the disciplinary warning.
On the 20th June, 2014 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 5th August, 2014. The Worker agreed to be bound by the Court’s Recommendation.
3. 1. Management's decision to invoke internal Grievance and Disciplinary procedures was unnecessary and inappropriate.
2. The sanction imposed on the Worker was completely unwarranted.
3. The Union is seeking the complete removal of the disciplinary warning from the Worker's personnel file.
3. 1. The findings of the internal investigation and disciplinary hearing were proper and therefore the sanction imposed on the Worker was proportionate.
2. The Worker was afforded his rights to natural justice and fair procedures at all times throughout the investigation and disciplinary hearing.
3. The disciplinary warning issued to the Worker has now expired.
The matter before the Court was brought under Section 20(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1969 and concerns a disciplinary warning issued to the Claimant on 17thMay 2013.
The Court has considered the written and oral submissions of both parties. The Court is of the view that little regard was taken of the circumstances surrounding the reasons why the Claimant was not in a position to accommodate the Employer on the night of 7thMay 2013, when it required him at the start of his roster to alter his route with a consequential substantial change to his finishing time. The Court is satisfied that the Claimant had explained his reasons both on the night in question and at all subsequent meetings on the issue. Due to the nature of those reasons and the lack of prior notification, the Court is satisfied that it was inappropriate in the circumstances to issue him with a disciplinary warning.
Therefore the Court recommends that this warning should be removed from the Claimant’s personnel file, no reference to it whatsoever should remain on his file and the Union should be furnished with written clarification of this action.
The Court so recommends.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
12th August 2014______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Sharon Cahill, Court Secretary.