ADJUDICATION OFFICER DECISION
Adjudication Decision Reference: ADJ-00002063
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: 16/05/2016
Workplace Relations Commission Adjudication Officer: Peter O'Brien
In accordance with Section 41 of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 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 was employed in the deli section of a Petrol station from Sept 2014 to Feb 2016. She had not been given a contract of employment. The complainants hours were cut from between 32 and 37.5 hours per week to two days at the weekends. When she enquired from the manager why she was only getting two days the manager replied that she was only part time although three weeks before this the owner told her that she was fulltime. She texted the owner and asked him about the rota and asked him if it was her or the new girl who was fulltime and he replied the Complainant and that he would talk to the manager. She went to work and did the two days. On the Monday after she went to the office and spoke to the manager. She asked him again about the cut in her hours and he told her to speak to the owner as they could hire and fire as he pleased. The manager informed her that there had been a compliant lodged against me but would not tell who from or what the complaint was. The following week the owner was in the office and the Complainant asked could I speak to him. She asked him why her hours were cut and he said that it was not a nice subject to talk about but that it was my age. She asked him are you saying she can't do my job and he said that it was a very busy Deli and I could be under pressure and if she was to stay in the garage that all she would be working was the saturday and sunday. She asked him about the complaint and he said that people complain all the time and to ignore it. She left the office very upset. The following two sundays she worked from seven am until three pm and during this time she had nobody to cover her for a toilet break or a tea break so she felt that she had no choice but leave her place of employment. The Complainant earned 345 Euro per week and did not get employment since she left the Respondent.
Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:
The Respondent was not present at the Hearing.
Section 41 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.
It is clear that fundamental changes were made to the Complainants hours of work and what she had been used to since the start of her employment. It is also alleged she could not do the job because of her age. It is also stated there was a customer complaint but this was never explained to the Complainant.
The Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 specifically excludes in Section 1.b states
“the termination by the employee of his contract of employment with his employer, whether prior notice of the termination was or was not given to the employer, in circumstances in which, because of the conduct of the employer, the employee was or would have been entitled, or it was or would have been reasonable for the employee, to terminate the contract of employment without giving prior notice of the termination to the employer”
I am satisfied that the contractual relationship built up between the parties regarding the number of hours of work was changed without agreement in a major way. I find that the Complainant had reasonable grounds to leave the employment after these changes were implemented without her consent and the comments made regarding her age and suitability for the job accordingly. I find her claim well founded and her claim succeeds on a number of grounds, I award the Complainant 5,000 Euros in respect of her claim.