ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION
Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00001030
Complaint(s)/Dispute(s) for Resolution:
Complaint/Dispute Reference No.
Date of Receipt
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under section 13 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1946
Date of Adjudication Hearing: 14/03/2016
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Jim O'Connell
In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015following the referral of the complaint(s)/dispute(s) to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint(s)/dispute(s) and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint(s)/dispute(s).
The claimant commenced employment with a company (details supplied) in September 2005 and following a transfer of undertakings, transferred to the respondent on the 29th August ’09 as a General Service Manager (GSM). The claimant is currently contracted to work 40 hours per week and is paid €3415.72 gross per month.
The claimant is appealing the sanction of a first written warning that was imposed on him following an investigation and disciplinary procedure. The claimant submitted that the investigation was conducted poorly, the sanction was too severe and that he is being treated unfairly.
The union stated that the claimant has at all times given his full commitment to the respondent and has never had a disciplinary sanction recorded. It was further submitted by the union that the sanction imposed on the claimant was grossly unfair and contrary to fair procedures being applied in respect of the agreed steps under the respondent’s disciplinary procedure.
The respondent for their part submitted by letter dated the 22nd April 2015 the claimant was invited to an investigation meeting on the 25th April ’15 regarding his performance at work. Specifically in relation to the failure of the HR audit due to his alleged failure to comply with employment legislation, issuing of contracts and the failure to comply with the respondents procedure in relation to completion of PDRs.
The respondent submitted that the claimant was afforded with the right of representation, provided with appropriate documentation, given the opportunity to state his case, informed of the possible outcome of the disciplinary hearing and he was afforded with the right of appeal.
Both parties submitted written and verbal submissions at the hearing
Additional submissions were received afterwards that confirmed the claimant had completed the HR function previously.
I find that having carefully examined all documentation supplied, the letter of the 22nd April did not indicate whatsoever that the findings of the investigation may lead to disciplinary action.
I find that that having read the notes of the investigation meeting the claimant alleges that a senior member of management was spoken to about the issue on a number of occasions. I find that this person should have been interviewed as part of the investigation. I find that the person named conducted the disciplinary hearing and issued the disciplinary sanction. I find this is a conflict between the roles of being a witness and a judge.
While I find the procedure was flawed in the issuing of the sanction I also find that the claimant as manager has a responsibility to ensure that HR provide all employees with the appropriate contracts of employment which were under his care.
Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015 requires that I make a decision in relation to the complaint(s)/dispute(s) in accordance with the relevant redress provisions under Schedule 6 of that Act.
I find that the written warning should be expunged from the claimants file.
Dated: 3rd August 2016