EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CLAIMS OF: CASE NO.
Gary Kirwan – claimant UD100/2013
Anglo Printers Limited – respondent
UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2007
MINIMUM NOTICE AND TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT ACTS, 1973 TO 2005
ORGANISATION OF WORKING TIME ACT, 1997
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Mr C. Corcoran B.L.
Members: Mr D. Moore
Mr P. Trehy
heard this claim at Dublin on 28th February 2014 and 21st July 2014
Claimant: Ms Claire Keane, Unite Trade Union, Francis Street, Dundalk, Co Louth
Mr Andrew Turner, Hamilton Turner Solicitors, 66 Dame Street, Dublin 2
Respondent: ESA Consultants, The Novum Building, Clonshaugh Industrial Estate Dublin 7
The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:
The Tribunal noted that the Minimum Notice claim was withdrawn at the outset of the hearing.
The claimant began working for the respondent as an apprentice printer. His letter of appointment, dated 28th September 2007, states that his apprenticeship would be for a three year period. When the claimant’s employment terminated in July 2012 he had not completed his apprenticeship. There was a conflict in the evidence explaining the claimant’s non-completion. The respondent’s managing director said the claimant struggled throughout his apprenticeship and despite training did not complete the majority of his assignments. The claimant on the other hand told the Tribunal that he had successfully completed 4 out of 5 phases required. He did not complete phase 5 because he had been sacked before the last phase was completed.
The period of the claimant’s employment was not uneventful. The managing director described him as having difficulty with authority and said that he was not a team player. There were issues with his performance. According to the claimant each of the warnings he received followed a pattern. The managing director approached him aggressively and he stood up for himself. The claimant felt that he was unfairly disciplined for shouting back.
Matters came to a head on 9th July 2012. The previous Friday there had been problems with an important printing run. The work was finished late and the customer was unhappy with the quality of the finished work and complained. The managing director interviewed every employee involved in the production of the faulty items. The claimant denied any responsibility for the problems. He accepted that he had taken short breaks between tasks to have a cigarette and to check his email. However the claimant contended that he spent the Friday in question working saying at the meeting that ‘I work when I am asked to work’.
The meeting concluded when the managing director informed the claimant that he was dismissing him. The claimant’s performance and behaviour the previous Friday had been such in the managing director’s view as to justify summary dismissal.
Clearly there were ongoing difficulties in the relationship between the claimant and the managing director. There were however significant faults in the process used to dismiss the claimant. The claimant was called to a meeting on 9th July 2012 without representation and without being informed in advance that his job was in jeopardy. The amalgamation of the investigation and disciplinary meeting removed from the claimant, an opportunity to defend against the allegations raised in the investigation part of the meeting. Then following his dismissal he appealed the decision to dismiss him but no appeal meeting was held in breach of fair procedures.
The Tribunal finds that, because of the unsatisfactory procedures used to dismiss him, the claimant was unfairly dismissed. The Tribunal notes that the behaviour and attitude of the claimant contributed significantly to his dismissal. Taking all the circumstances of the claim into account, the Tribunal award the claimant the sum of €8,000.00 under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007.
The claim under the Organisation of Working Time Act 1977 is dismissed.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal