INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 1990
SECTION 13(9), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1969
MATER MISERICORDIAE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY INMO)
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Murphy
Worker Member: Mr Shanahan
1. Appeal of Rights Commissioner's Recommendation r-143424-ir/EOS.
2. This dispute concerns the manner in which the Employer dealt with the Worker's bullying complaint. This dispute was referred to a Rights Commissioner for investigation and recommendation. On the 9th January, 2015 the Rights Commissioner issued the following Recommendation:-
- "In light of the [Employer's] prevarication and delay ... in implementing the recommendations of the Investigation Team, I recommend that the [Employer] pay the [Worker] a once off sum of €5,000 compensation."
On the 12th February, 2015 the Worker appealed the Rights Commissioner's Recommendation to the Labour Court in accordance with Section 13(9) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1969. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 31st March, 2015.
3. 1. The Employer has a duty of care to the Worker.
2. The Employer's prevarication has exacerbated a difficult situation.
3.The Union does not believe that mediation will remedy this matter.
4. 1. The Employer does not accept that it has breached its duty of care to the Worker.
2. The Employer does not believe that a monetary award is a suitable remedy in this type of case.
3. The Employer believes that mediation is the preferred method for resolving complaints.
This is an appeal by the Union on behalf of an employee against a Rights Commissioner’s Recommendation dealing with her complaint concerning the alleged non-implementation of recommendations made in an Investigation Report which essentially upheld a complaint made by the Claimant in 2012 under the Hospital’s Dignity at Work Policy.
In its appeal, the Union sought to vary the Rights Commissioner’s Recommendation by recommending that the person complained of under the Dignity at Work Policy should be assigned to a new location.
Management stated that while it accepted the findings and recommendations of the Investigation Report, its preferred approach for resolving the matter was through mediation as both parties involved were valuable employees to the Hospital and were essential to the delivery of services that they were responsible for. It was anxious not to compromise those services by transferring an employee and no such recommendation was included in the Investigation Report.
The Court notes that both employees involved are at senior level and of equal status. Management informed the Court that a number of the recommendations of the Investigation Report had been carried out, including the recommendation on consideration of whether or not the disciplinary procedure should be invoked in the case.
Having considered the submissions of both parties the Court recommends that Management should ensure that the Investigation Report’s recommendations are implemented in full. Additionally, having regard to the Hospital’s obligation to provide a safe place to work, and to its Dignity at Work Policy, the Court recommends that a mediation/facilitation process should be entered into for the purpose of assisting the parties to reach agreement on acceptable terms under which a professional working relationship can be restored. The Court recommends that this process should be completed within eight weeks of its commencement.
The Rights Commissioner’s Recommendation is varied accordingly.
The Court so Decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
20th April, 2015______________________
Enquiries concerning this Decision should be addressed to Jonathan McCabe, Court Secretary.