SECTION 12 (2), PROTECTED DISCLOSURES ACT, 2014
(REPRESENTED BY MR PETER WARD SC INSTRUCTED BY ARTHUR COX, SOLICITORS)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY MS REBECCA TREACY BL INSTRUCTED BY J.O.S. SOLICITORS)
Chairman: Mr Foley
Employer Member: Ms Connolly
Worker Member: Mr Hall
1. Appeal of Adjudication Officer's Decision No: ADJ-00000305.
2. The Worker appealed the Decision of the Adjudication Officer to the Labour Court on 10 July 2017. A Labour Court hearing took place on 15 November 2017. The following is the Court's Determination:
This is an appeal by A Worker (the Appellant) of a decision of an Adjudication Officer in her complaint against her employer, (the Respondent), made under the Protected Disclosures Act, 2014 (the Act).
The Adjudication Officer, in a decision dated 30thMay 2017, found that the Appellant’s case was not well founded.
Discussion and Conclusions.
The Appellant did not attend the hearing of the Court. The Court is satisfied that the Appellant was properly notified by letter dated 24thAugust 2017 of the hearing of the Court. Counsel representing the Appellant attended the hearing of the Court and sought an adjournment of the hearing for stated reasons. In a decision communicated separately by this Court to the parties, the Court refused the Appellant’s application for an adjournment. That decision of the Court was communicated by letter to the applicant in the following terms:
- The Court received no submission as regards the significance or relevance of the grounds upon which the applications were made and consequently has no understanding of the connection between the matters referred to and the Appellants’ capacity to advance their appeals made under the Protected Disclosures Act, 2014. The Court notes that the appeal relates to alleged penalisation suffered by the Appellants consequent on the making by each of them of an alleged protected disclosure.
The Court has asked me to remind you that notification of the hearing of the Court issued to the Appellants on 24thAugust 2017. No application was made for an adjournment of that hearing until an e-mail received by the Court on 8thNovember 2017. The Court refused that application for an adjournment and invited the Appellants, in accordance with the published rules of the Court, to make any application for an adjournment at the hearing of the Court. The Application when made expanded the grounds for the Application to include matters which did not form the basis for the application made seven days previously. The application of the 15thNovember set out no substantive reasoning as to why the history of legal representation of the Appellants, the content of a report which is unknown to the Court, an alleged requirement of the Respondent to respond to that report or separate engagements between the parties had bearing on the Appellants’ capacity to advance their appeals. Counsel for the Appellants was unable to expand on the content of your letter of 13thNovember 2017 in making the application for adjournment. Neither Appellant attended the hearing of the Court.
The Respondent in the Appeals opposed the applications for adjournment made at the hearing of the Court.
In all of the circumstances the Court has asked me to advise you of its decision that no reasonable grounds or substantive submissions have been advanced as to why the hearings of the Appeals scheduled for 15thNovember 2017 should be adjourned. The application is refused.
Counsel for the Appellant, at the hearing of the Court, confirmed that the appeal would not be advanced by the Appellant at the hearing of the Court.
The Court, in all the circumstances before it, finds that the appeal falls for want of prosecution.
The appeal fails and the decision of the Adjudication Officer is affirmed.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
4 December 2017______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Michael Neville, Court Secretary.