ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION
Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00001758
Complaint(s)/Dispute(s) for Resolution:
Complaint/Dispute Reference No.
Date of Receipt
Complaint seeking adjudication by the Workplace Relations Commission under Section 8 of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977
Date of Adjudication Hearing: 16/06/2016
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Michael Hayes
In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and Section 8(1B) of the Unfair Dismissals Act, following 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).
Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:
The complainant submits that he was unfairly selected for redundancy. In essence he was considered for redundancy from his position as team leader as part of the supervisory team in the warehouse in circumstances where he had advised that he was prepared to surrender the title and that this was not acceptable to the respondent. The redundancies were drawn from a warehouse group consisting of 1 manager, 3 supervisors and 4 general operatives (inclusive of the complainant) and 4 office staff. He was in a position to fill any of the other positions. Others within the target group had less service. One of the office staff is presently on maternity leave and he could have replaced her. He was informed that his sick leave was fatal as it related to his selection. He was wrongly considered as part of the supervisory group. It is accepted that he enjoyed a higher salary than the GO group however he was never invited to attend supervisory meetings. He disputes that he was shown the matrix during the process.
Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:
The respondent submits that the complainant was fairly dismissed by reason of redundancy and that he was fairly selected following a detailed consultation and notice of termination process. He had been through a similar process in December/January, 14/15 pursuant to the loss of a significant contract and he was scheduled for redundancy on the 6th of March 2015. However on obtaining another contract the notice of termination was rescinded. In September 2015 the respondent was notified that a major customer was transferring its business and it was left with no option but to consider redundancies again. A letter to this effect was issued to the complainant on the 1st of September and following a meeting on the following the respondent considered all options including redeployment within the group it was decided that no such possibilities were available and that there was no alternative options available. He was duly informed on the 16th inst. and the employment was terminated on the 11th of November 2015. The complainant was selected for redundancy on the basis of a matrix system which was known to him from the previous round of redundancies (details provided).
The offer to relinquish the job title is disputed by the respondent as it relates to the current round of redundancies and it points out that it rejected the complainant’s previous offer to do so. I note that the respondent has asserted that any grade above lead agent is considered supervisory in its system and that this has been applied consistently by the Company and that the complainant is aware of this fact in that he did offer to step back in the previous round. There is no dispute concerning the legitimate need to implement redundancy in this case and I am asked therefore to consider whether or not the process and its application were fair. I am satisfied that the matrix system which had been previously utilised was a reasonable system. The respondent indicated that service as a parameter is used in the event of tie. The alignment of team lead and supervisory grade for the purpose of selection is not in my opinion an unreasonable position to take. I am satisfied therefore that the complainant was not unfairly selected for redundancy in this case and that this was not and Unfair Dismissal within the meaning of the Act.
The complaint is therefore not well founded.
Dated: 6 December 2016