ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION
Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00002809
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: 05/10/2016
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: John Tierney
In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 [and/or Section 8(1B) of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977, and/or Section 9 of the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Act, 1984, and/or Section 79 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998, and/or Section 25 of the Equal Status Act, 2000] 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).
Attendance at Hearing:
Complainant’s Submission and Presentation:
My wife had recently had major surgery and along with this her father was dying. I was waiting for an update on her personal health over the course of each day. I made management aware of the situation. Also, on 20th October 2015, a week before my dismissal, management had accepted my application for redundancy in line with the terms of a severance scheme in place at the time. This agreement was made with management who were in full knowledge of my wife's situation. I believe my dismissal was an attempt to save the company the redundancy payment rather than a response to any perceived disciplinary issues.
The Claimant claimed he had permission to leave the floor to make or take phone calls concerning his family’s health.
Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:
The Claimant was dismissed following repeated and consistent breaches of company policy which necessitated as verbal warning, written warning and two final written warnings for the same offence. The Respondent outlined the history of each of these warnings and the procedure used as per the employee handbook. These warnings were in relation to the Claimant persistently exiting the back door to the transport smoking area whist not on an official break.
During the course of his wife’s illness, he did not seek or plan time off to coincide with her planned surgery despite having holidays at his disposal. Furthermore the company offer sabbatical and career breaks for those wishing to take time away from work for personal reasons.
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.
[Section 8(1B) of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977 requires that I make a decision in relation to the unfair dismissal claim consisting of a grant of redress in accordance with section 7 of the 1977 Act.]
I have considered the submissions of both parties. Although, the Claimant had opted for voluntary redundancy, his disciplinary record was a very serious one. Despite this he continued to commit the same breaches of the company’s rules in regard to breaks. The Respondent identified a number of options available to the Claimant to be able to take time out to look after his family’s health but he did not avail of them.
In these circumstances I do not find the dismissal unfair.
I do not the claim well founded and it fails.
Dated: 16th December 2016